The joys and challenges of each season are unique. During the winter, you may have a long, cold, and dark winter. Our inherent nature makes winter a challenge for us to endure. Yes, there are many aspects of winter that do make it worthwhile, like sipping on warm drinks while sitting beside a fireplace! Ah, to have the privilege to have adequate fuel supply (companies like romeosfuel.com could prove to be a boon in these times), warm clothes and a shelter over your head. But what about our mental health? While winter is on its way, the most obvious sign, apart from the days getting colder that is, are the nights rapidly drawing in for us – physically and otherwise. This is the time of the year when many of us wake up and go to work in the dark and consequently return home in the dark!
Whilst this season is inevitable and always comes around, that doesn’t mean it is any easier to get to grips with. Sure, small gestures from friends, like receiving some fresh flowers from a local Lysterfield florist, can be a reminder of spring and lift spirits up for a bit. But after a while, the slump returns. More so, when it comes to gearing up to continue your exercise routine during the winter months, it can be difficult.
Are You Experiencing a Touch of SAD?
Though I am usually quite an upbeat person, I admit that I do tend to struggle during the harsh winter months. Though I have never been able to put this down to anything other than the winter blues, it certainly helped to learn that the way I was feeling had a name; SAD or, in its full terms, Seasonal Effective Disorder. Despite putting up with the feelings of lethargy and depression and really pushing myself to the limit to even get up and get moving over recent winters, the last cold snap that we had was the last straw and I had to ask for some professional advice; this was how I came across the disorder.
What is the Definition of SAD?
Seasonal Affective Disorder quite simply means a feeling of depression around certain seasons, typically during the winter months. It is caused by the lack of sunshine and comes alongside the onslaught of the darker days and general worsening weather. The extent of SAD can vary from person to person, with some feeling a little bit low at this time of the year. However, if you generally suffer from depression, this time of year can often enhance those negative feelings. SAD can make you feel less active and less inclined to want to participate in many things; unfortunately for most that includes any physical exercise.
Help Is at Hand for All SAD Sufferers
I told myself I would be able to work through my diagnosis, since I knew what it was, why I was feeling it, and that it would soon pass, as it usually does as we hit spring – totally disappearing by summer. However, I was then introduced to the concept of SAD lighting. Termed light therapy, treatment can be in the form of a special lamp which mirrors a very bright light, effectively stimulating the sunlight which we lose during the winter months. In addition to visiting a cannabis dispensary to get small amounts of weed to help alleviate some of the depression side effects, I was getting from SAD. Both methods together helped me to get through the winter months and get some joy out of them too.
SAD lamps are widespread and available from many places, if you think that you may also be affected by SAD during these darker months, why not give an SAD lamp a try this winter?