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- New Directions
With summer’s end comes a few unwanted extras: beginning of the school year for many, shorter days for all, and a little or a lot of SAD. Seasonal Affective Disorder is defined as a mood disorder experienced in the fall and winter months when the lack of sunlight and dreary weather can seriously affect one’s spirits. People with SAD find that they sleep more often, eat badly, feel generally lethargic and even get depressed.
The Guardian is tackling the subject early this year in order to help anyone who thinks they may be prone to SAD. One suggestion is for light therapy, employing more powerful light bulbs to mimic the amount of light seen in the spring and summer months. Look for the ones that most resemble natural light. There are even products called “dawn simulators” that do exactly what you think they do—increase light in the morning hours in a way that feels like a summer day.
If being happier is on the agenda for winter and you tend to feel more down that time of year, look into additional ways to withstand harsher weather. Do you typically experience something like SAD, even if you don’t label it? How do you work through it?
I have suffered from SAD for 30 years. I've had a "light box" for 6 years, which has helped immensely. Two years ago, I started taking Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol), 2000 mg per day. Last year, I didn't need my "light box". It was the best winter I've ever had! You can have your D3 levels checked by your doctor -studies are continually proving the value of Vit. D3.
I read an article years ago, in which the author directed her readers to "bottle" sunshine during summer, and in the winter "open" one each day. I know, . . . this is imagery. I've continued to do this during the overcast Seattle winter.
It brightens my day. While, it may not work for everyone, it works for me!!
I wouldn't say I suffer from SAD, but I find I work out more in the winter because I'm not as tempted to lounge around outside as I am in the summer.