The Lowe Down
From S.A.D to Glad - 3 Ways to Annihilate Seasonal Affective Disorder.
When the days get shorter, millions of people lose their mental and physical balance. Anxiety, Depression, lethargy, demotivation, and in the more serious cases, suicidal thoughts, set in. Sounds like rainy days and Mondays; but it’s their pernicious pal, the winter blues, better known as Seasonal Affective Disorder or S.A.D.
A study in Psychology Today found that 10 million Americans suffer from full-blown S.A.D, while another 10-20% suffer from a milder form. Many just resign themselves to it, “c’est la vie” they say. But there are ways to lessen the severity of this mood-altering condition.
Here are my top 3 ways to go from S.A.D to glad.
Get those feel-good hormones, serotonin and dopamine, flowing through exercise. The CDC recommends we choose exercises that are rhythmic and continuous for at least 20 minutes. Think a moderate to rigorous circuit done vinyasa style. Meditation or static stretches won’t do the trick. You could also do an invigorating dance to your favorite tunes.
Food and mood are inextricably linked. Choose colorful foods green, red, yellow, orange, purple fruits and veggies. They are anti-inflammatory and chock full of phytochemicals and antioxidants. And they contribute to our gut microbiome. These foods boost the mood naturally as 90% of serotonin is housed in the gut.
A dark space is gloomy if we are prone to SAD. Keep the room well -lit and choose colorful artwork. Add more beneficial visual stimuli through a colorful, bright decor. It’s no wonder that light-therapy has long been the go-to for SAD! Go ahead and lighten up.