Winter blues? SAD? What seasonal depression is all about.
Seasonal affective disorder - otherwise known as "SAD" - is a type of depression that is related to the seasonal changes throughout the year (NIMH, n.d.). Majority of people who experience SAD begin to notice their symptoms in the fall and/or winter months. It's important to note, however, that the experience for each individual can vary; and with that, some people can experience symptoms of SAD in the summer months (HealthLinkBC, 2020). In Ontario, symptoms often come on when daylight savings time comes to an end - i.e. when our clocks "fall back." There's a good chance that if you're reading this, you're familiar with the experience of these symptoms that resemble depression - i.e., fatigue, low motivation, sadness, feeling down, etc. If so, let's start with the reminder that you are not alone and that this "phenomenon" is in fact a "real thing." Now the question is: what can you do about it? Read on to find out.
Take up a new hobby and/or find a new past-time;
Pay attention to your diet;
Get outside as much as possible - especially on those sunny days;
Make use of your social/familial supports;
Find ways to promote feelings of security and warmth, and;
Last but not least, be gentle with yourself. Remember that you are not alone! There's a reason you're feeling this way.
HealthLinkBC. (2020). Seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Retrieved from https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/health-topics/hw169553
National Institute of Mental Health. (n.d.). Seasonal affective disorder. Retrieved from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/seasonal-affective-disorder