Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is ‘nicely’ termed the winter blues. It is not as simple as this though. It can be a ‘specifier’ of major depression and left untreated can often have profound effects on people’s lives. However, there is much one can do to combat these symptoms to continue to have a ‘normal’ mood during the winter and Uplevel Your Joy.
Some symptoms include difficulty waking up in the morning, overeating & oversleeping, lack of energy and difficulty concentrating, withdrawal from family and social activities that are enjoyed otherwise.
Reasons for Seasonal Affective Disorder are many. Less exposure to light means lowered Serotonin levels. Lack of Serotonin is one of the key components in depression. Less exercise decreases the amount of endorphins in your body. These chemical changes are key ingredients to bringing on SAD
There are many ways to treat SAD. Light Therapy, exercise, time outside, eating a diet with extra green leafy vegetables, taking nutritional supplements that support your endocrine system. Bodywork can also help. Massage, aromatherapy and reflexology have been shown to be help with SAD. Here are some reasons why:
~Massage Therapy: Bodywork helps you slow down, relax and recharge. It helps reduce stress, anxiety and depression. Compassionate Human Touch is often helpful for someone to know that everything will be all right!
~Aromatherapy: Many essential oils have anti-derpressant properties and can be quite useful in lifting the moods of the winter. I find the Citrus oils the best to combat this disorder. You can use them in many ways from diffusing them into the air, using in your cleaning products or in an aroma-massage.
~Reflexology: has been used dating back to the Egytpians to treat many aches and pains. Due to it’s natural healing ability, reflexology helps our bodies to release endorphins which naturally bring balance back to our own selves.
(It is important to note that if symptoms of SAD go on for more than a few weeks, it is important to seek professional help immediately. And that using some of these tips for helping alleviate the symptoms of SAD should be done with the support of trained professionals.)
As always, Self-care is critical to maintaining optimum health & wellness with this disorder and/or in general. Part II (next week) of Got the Blues This Winter? Will talk about how to attack it with other self-care options.
Do you or anyone you know suffer with SAD’s? What have you done that you have found helpful to manage the symptoms and bring you back into balance? I’d love to know!
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