“Seasonal Affective Disorder”. Yikes! That sounds a little harsh. The word Disorder is intimidating to me. Most of us would know it as the “Winter time Blues”. Did you know that more than 3 Million cases of this type of depression are treated each year? 3 Million!?
That means two things. 1: YOU ARE NOT ALONE! And 2: YOU ARENT CRAZY! J According to the Mayo Clinic, “Seasonal Affective Disorder(SAD) is a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons. SAD begins and ends about the same times of year”. SO, if you are like most of those 3 Million, your symptoms start around the fall and can last through the winter months. Symptoms may include: “feeling depressed most of the day, nearly every day, losing interest in activities you once enjoyed, low energy, problems sleeping, feeling sluggish or agitated.”
If you’re like me, you have most definitely suffered from this before. Honestly, I’ve even experienced some of these symptoms this winter. I joke with my husband that I’m just hibernating. I’m gaining weight and staying in. Don’t get me wrong, who doesn’t like a night on the couch, watching holiday movies, and eating some cookies and puff corn? No? Just me? Look, regardless of how crazy you may feel, there are plenty of things you can do to help perk yourself up.
The number one thing to remember is, something my sweet lovin’ Mama says to me, “take it for what it is”. Stay aware. If you feel the symptoms coming on, you know what’s happening, breathe through it. Don’t let it consume you. Ride the wave and know you are going to come out on the other side. To me another thing that helps me feel better is having my house clean and organized. Doing laundry, cleaning out the closets, etc. It’s up to you! Having organization and a clean space helps with anxiety and depression.
Other noted suggestions are exercise, getting sunlight, and sticking to a schedule. And don’t be afraid to talk to someone about what you’re feeling. Lean on your family and friends and if its serious enough, it’s okay to talk to your doctor about it. And always remember, you aren’t alone and things can get better. There’s always Spring!
Susan Ingram, OWL Blogger