According to Pub Med Health: Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is episodes of depression that occur at a certain time of the year, usually during winter. There is no real test to diagnose S.A.D's but symptoms include:
- Increased appetite with weight gain
- Increased sleep and daytime sleepiness
- Loss of energy and ability to concentrate in the afternoon
- Loss of interest in work and other activities
- Slow, sluggish, lethargic movements
- Social withdrawal
- Unhappiness and irritability
A few ways to combat S.A.D's during the winter months:
- Exercise: Get those endorphins and neurotransmitters moving! I know it's hard to get motivated to exercise when you're already down, but push yourself to do this. Remember, most likely, after your workout you will feel much better!
- Continue pampering yourself: Feel good about yourself! Get a nice hair cut, your eyebrows done, manicure/pedicure. Remember, looking good on the outside can help you feel good about yourself on the inside.
- Vitamins: Take a multivitamin with added vitamin D. Studies have shown that vitamin can combat depression and improve your mood. In the winter, because the days are shorter, you lack getting vitamin D from natural sunlight, which is a cause of S.A.D.
- Eat Good Mood Foods: Instead of getting a quick mood booster from drinking coffee, work to sustain a better mood by eating the right foods, that contain a balanced diet of healthy fats, fruits and vegetables.
- Talk to someone: If you are already going through a difficult period in your life, S.A.D's can affect you more. Do not be afraid or ashamed to talk to good friend, psychologist or your MD.
S.A.D's affects millions of people throughout the year and should not be ignored!