Have you been feeling glum lately? Down in the dumps with no clue as to how you got there? Well, it might actually have something to do with the time of year.
Seasonal Affective Disorder, or (aptly) SAD, affects about one out of every five people--some severely, and others mildly. It strikes mostly during the fall season when there’s less sunlight.
The lack of sunlight means we get less ultraviolet light on our skin, and our serotonin levels drop as a result. Serotonin is, to put the psychobabble aside, the "feel good" chemical in our bodies.
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SAD can affect some people so strongly that they begin to feel suicidal, and in those cases, one should seek help immediately. But in less severe cases--when you’re feeling irritable, unmotivated or just down--there are some home remedies you can try.
Light therapy can offset that lack of natural sunlight that comes during the fall months. A light box, which you can get online, gives off a bright, inviting glow that copies natural outdoor light. It just might lift your spirits if you find the gloom is making you gloomy.
SAD can make you feel very fatigued at times, and the best way to combat that is to get your endorphins flowing. Take a dance class, go to yoga or start lifting some weights. Working out just makes you feel good.
This time of year when it’s foggy outside, whales and other marine life are migrating to warmer waters. If you love the sea and have a pair of binoculars, you might just kick your SAD-ness with a bit of whale watching.
If you need something to take your mind off of your blues, focus on and learn something new. Take a cooking class, pick up a new language or just throw yourself into a field you haven’t explored before.
When people feel the effects of SAD, they often withdraw and become socially isolated. But even if you’re feeling down, you should make plans and spend some time with your friends. You can even make a date to go someplace sunny so you can absorb those UV rays you’re sorely lacking.
Finally, don’t compare and despair. If you’re feeling bad, don’t go on social media to see all the cool things other people might be doing. You will just end up making yourself feel worse.