Hiding Under the Covers with the Change of Season?
At 2 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 3 our clocks will change.
Most of us welcome the additional hour of sleep but some of us may start to feel the effects of what has been called S.A.D. or Seasonal Effective Disorder. Even my four legged fur baby has a little less pep in her step in the dark at 6:00 am these days.
What is S.A.D.?
As you may know, S.A.D. is Linked to reduced exposure to sunlight during the shorter autumn and winter days. The theory is that a lack of sunlight might stop a part of the brain called the hypothalamus from working properly, and this can affect all sorts of things like production of melatonin, serotonin and our body’s internal clock or circadian rhythm.
For more information click this great resource https://www.mentalhealth.org.nz/assets/A-Z/Downloads/understanding-sad-2013-MIND-UK.pdf
What Can You Do?
First of all knowing that this is common, we can find comfort in realizing that we are not alone and experiencing a normal human condition, so don’t beat yourself up for not being as charged as were in the summer months. Experts say this needs to be treated like any other form of mild to moderate depression by ensuring we take care of all the dimensions of good health and of course always consulting a licensed practitioner who can offer evidence based solutions like therapy and supplements or pharmacological aid if necessary. We will cover some more expert advice in our handbook so be sure to sign up for that under the handbook tab on our website.
Another good idea for all of us is to take preventative approach and ramp up your exercise regime, focus on whole foods, (foods as close to their natural state) get plenty of sleep, make room in your busy calendar for connecting with friends and community and take a page from the folks in Denmark, some of the happiest people on the planet! The Danish tradition of hygge means creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people. The warm glow of candlelight is hygge. Cozying up with a loved one for a movie – that’s hygge, too. And there’s nothing more hygge than sitting around with friends and family, discussing the big and small things in life. (source www.visitdenmark.com)
Another option some people find helpful is light therapy devices. Here are a couple we liked that are well under a $100.
or you could get fancier and try the Phillips alarm clock with sunrise simulation here,
There are great resources similar to CAMH in Canada that are FREE and you can call, hit this link if you need to talk to someone. https://www.camh.ca/en/your-care/access-camh
Bottom-line, be good to yourself, release the inner critical voice and take control by doing something that lights you up during the darker months of Fall and Winter and remember…
“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.”– John Steinbeck