Don't be S.A.D

Image result for seasonal affective disorder                                                                                                              Courtesy of PCDBlog

Living in a cold climate for a couple of months of the year takes a physical and mental toll on an individual. Sometimes you may ask yourself: why do I feel so sad and tired? Well the answer is you may actually be SAD; in other words, you may suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder. Seasonal Affective Disorder is form of depression that is related to the change in seasons. Some call it the ‘winter blues’ as you may suffer from symptoms such as feeling tired, finding it difficult to concentrate, being depressed, having problems sleeping, or having an overall loss in interest in activities.

Although SAD is a disorder that you can suffer from during the change of season from winter to spring or summer, it most commonly occurs to those who live in cold regions during the winter. As a student, the effects of SAD impact my work ethic and energy levels, therefore, here are six tips to treat SAD and hopefully help you get through the winter months:

1. Light from a box

Being exposed to sunlight for at least 15 to 30 minutes a day can make a difference; your body and state of mind gains energy from the sunlight. A light box can be a replacement for sunlight if you live in a cloudy and dark place, however, if you are able to walk outside for little bit and enjoy natural sunlight, that would of course also raise your spirits.

2. Aromatherapy

Bathing with natural oils, such as lavender, can enhance your senses and allow your body to relax, possibly decreasing sleeping problems which are a constant effect of seasonal affective disorder.

3. Exercise

To maintain a high energy level, set up an exercise routine to keep your blood flowing, putting your physical and mental state in a positive and healthier mood.

4. More Vitamin D

Due to the lack of sun exposure during the winter months, taking Vitamin D supplements could be beneficial to your physical health.

5. Stop consuming sugar

Researchers have found that excess intake of sugar does not allow your body to properly cope with stress, leading to depression and/or anxiety. Although you may crave that Hershey chocolate bar for a quick rush of energy, try to stay away from it by remembering how quickly that rush of energy decreases, leaving you lazy.

6. Write in a journal

Studies suggest that writing out your negative emotions can allow room for positive thoughts and decrease depressive feelings.