As we near the start of February, any residual holiday joy and festivities are now long gone. Instead, we have just been left with cold, dreary weather and nights that start around 5:00 p.m. without the beauty of complementing Christmas lights.
And for many people throughout the United States, this is usually the most negative time of year. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), otherwise known as Seasonal Depression, has kicked in, causing prolonged sadness and a general lack of interest in activities.
These mental health changes are triggered by the changing seasons– particularly wintertime, due to its short, cold days and lack of sun.
There are various theories as to why so many people’s mental health states are heavily influenced by the seasons.
Some suggest that season changes disrupt our circadian rhythms– or the internal 24-hour clock that helps regulate our energy during waking and sleeping hours.
These seasonal switches may also impact critical hormones like melatonin and serotonin– which help to regulate our energy and mood levels.
Unfortunately, it is impossible to completely mitigate the existence of SAD because we cannot just get the sun to come out more in the winter. But there are some really helpful steps anyone affected by seasonal depression can take to help subside their winter blues.
Guide To Navigating Seasonal Depression
One of the best ways to combat seasonal depression is by getting some sunshine. In the winter, a lack of sunlight can really dampen our mood and lead to decreased energy levels. So, whenever you can, prioritize getting out of the dark and allowing sunlight to enter your life.
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