THE HOLIDAY SEASON.
This time of the year is where most are busy preparing for guests, buying gifts, and being, overall, full of good cheer. It seems to be so easy to be cheery during the holiday season. There’s no reason for anyone not to be happy with all of the bright, sparkly decorations and holiday tunes blaring through speakers. Right? No, not so much.
SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER (SAD).
For many individuals, this time of the year brings a feeling of sadness, grief, and depression. Whether it’s the loss of a loved one, financial troubles, or an overwhelming sense of loneliness, the holiday season is notorious for an increase in feelings of grief. There’s a medical term for this. It’s called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Seasonal Affective Disorder is a type of depression that tends to happen around the same time each year (typically starting in the fall and on through the winter).
Why is it that whenever the temperature begins to drop, depression tends to pick up? After doing some research, I came across the Mayo Clinic’s website and read their post on this type of depression. According to the Mayo Clinic, “the causes of Seasonal Affective Disorder remains unknown.” Even though the root cause is unknown, some factors can play a role in this disorder. As mentioned above, a specific event, death of a loved one, lack of finances or social support, a history of depression, could be factors.
For those who may not be dealing with any of those factors and depression isn’t a norm, a lack of sunlight (mostly during colder months) could be a factor. The lack of the sun “may cause winter on-set SAD (Mayo Clinic Staff).” “This decrease in sunlight may disrupt your body’s internal clock and lead to feelings of depression (Mayo Clinic Staff).” So, is the underlying cause of SAD the lack of sunlight? There’s going to need to be more research on that, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that were the case.
NATURAL WAYS TO BATTLE SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER
There may not be a cure (that I know of) for Seasonal Affective Disorder, but there are ways to beat it. I’m going to share with you three highly effective ways to help you to combat SAD. I, personally, use and stand by these tips. I’m sure you’re probably thinking, “JUST GET TO THE TIPS ALREADY!” So, let’s get to it!
- JOURNALING! It may be challenging to think of something positive when battling the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder, depression, or anxiety. Writing or typing words of gratitude will help to shift your focus. When your symptoms are flaring up, pick up that gratitude journal, and write what you’re feeling. Do not leave out any details. Once you’ve done that, write something positive that happened that day. Not only will you be acknowledging your feelings, but you’ll also be accepting a victory, something positive as well. I want to encourage you to write daily, not just on your not-so-good days.
- EXERCISE! Not only is exercise good for strengthening your body, but it also helps to ease the symptoms of depression. How? By “Releasing feel-good endorphins, natural cannabis-like brain chemicals (endogenous cannabinoids), and other natural brain chemicals that can enhance your sense of well-being (Mayo Clinic Staff).” Whenever you’re working out, your focus, typically, is on the workout and not on your troubles (which is why I exercise every single day).
- SPEAK TO SOMEONE YOU TRUST! I’ve learned that attempting to handle symptoms of depression alone DOES NOT WORK! Trust me, I’ve tried for years and got nowhere. Speaking with someone you trust about how you feel genuinely does help you to gain a new perspective on your situation. They should give you an unbiased view of what you’re feeling and guide you through it.
So, there you have it! Three highly effective ways to battle Seasonal Affective Disorder! Remember, this isn’t a life sentence! Make sure you’re doing things each day to keep your mind focused on the positive qualities of life! Happy Holidays!!!!!!!
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Have a blessed day!
-Nieshia of “Armored With Faith”