Sunshine Makes Us Happy

When you grow up in a state that goes through all seasons, you realize quickly the impact our sun has on happiness.  Living in the Northwest Ohio area is absolute proof. The winter months are daunting enough but when they are surrounded by the dark skies of a windy, wet Fall and Spring, everything looks SAD for so long.

Our bodies require a certain amount of vitamin D and most of us lack the proper amount. It’s no scientific secret, or holistic hubbub, it’s absolute fact.  This right here is certainly one reason why we begin to suffer with signs of depression, turn into less ambitious humans and feel just plain crappy when Winter hits us with full force.

Seasonal Affective Disorder, better known as SAD, is the depression that sets in causing moodiness during the colder, less active months of the year.  SAD affects people differently and at multiple levels. The disorder can range in severity so it’s important to catch those feelings right away. Practicing a few methods to help you through the dreary season can make a world of difference; especially if you are unable to pick up and move to sunshine states from November through May.

All symptoms of SAD should be acted upon right away to decrease the level of severity and to help ease, even reduce them quickly.  Should you find yourself in the “minor symptoms” for extended periods of time or “major symptoms” area AT ALL please consult your healthcare practitioner of choice immediately.  The symptoms of SAD run parallel with a few other conditions so please seek medical attention should you feel that any of these are causing commotion or disrupting your regular daily schedule.

 Some of the minor symptoms may include:

·         Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed

·         Having low energy

·         Having problems with sleeping

·         Experiencing changes in your appetite or weight

·         Feeling sluggish or agitated

Major symptoms associated with SAD may Include:

·         Having difficulty concentrating

·         Feeling hopeless, worthless or guilty

·         Having frequent thoughts of death or suicide

·         Feeling depressed most of the day, nearly every day

Treating SAD can be simpleThere are many facets of the disorder so again, please seek medical attention to properly diagnose the severity of your SAD symptoms.  Below are a few quick references to have you on your way to feeling yourself again:

·         Light therapy:  Doctors are unsure of the true cause behind SAD but the speculation is the lack of sunlight.  Adding a bit of light therapy to your daily regimen throughout the dreary months just might preserve that sunshine happiness mood.  Adding light therapy to your daily regimen can be as simple as spending more time outside during the winter months, taking advantage of those warmer days filled with sunshine to help boost the much-needed light exposure.  Not into temperatures below 50ﹾ? Purchasing devices that will help in simulating sunshine an option.

o   A light box (device listed below, link #1) is perfect for those sitting at their desk most of the day.  It is a larger piece, but allows for a constant glow no matter which direction you are sitting.

o   Sunrise Simulation alarm clock seems fascinating and easy (device listed below, link #2).  You are going to be waking up, why not feel as though you are doing so on a warm summers morning!  This alarm clock gradually increases brightness to replicate the rise of the sun.

·         Increase melatonin: There is a slight decrease in production of melatonin that victims of SAD often have.  A daily supplement could be just what the doctor orders for you to feel yourself again.

·         Regular Exercise: Giving yourself a little TLC can go a long way.  Exercise and feeling accomplished makes you feel better about yourself.  Take that walk on those special days during the winter when the sun is shining bright and the temperatures are bearable.  It just might be the answer to all those moody blues.

·         Counseling:  Let’s face it, we could all use that neutral ground person to unload on.  Sometimes when we aren’t feeling ourselves, we hold little unnecessary bothers inside to fester.  Having someone to release us of those bothers could stop us from having a personal melt down or from hitting a boiling point of temper. 

·         Aromatherapy: There has been much success in using aromatherapy as a mood enhancing regimen.  Finding scents that bring lovely memories of the warmer months ahead could be the simple solution to your winter BLAH.  Some of the most common essential oils used include (but never limited to):

o   Lavender, Rose, Ylang ylang – light floral scents bring on the feelings of new life

o   Lemon, Lime, Grapefruit – crisp and refreshing citrus adds a spark of refreshing spirit

o   Patchouli, Frankincense, Cedarwood – grounding an earthy with our bare feet in the grass

Finding yourself in need of a personalized essential oil blend to help you through the season of SAD? I am excited to help you. Click HERE, fill in your info and we will have you on your way to feeling happier in no time at all.

A collaborative of information/fact check taken mostly from these three sources.  Also listed are links to the light therapy options available on Amazon (not an affiliate of Amazon, only posting link for benefit of reader).

https://www.everydayhealth.com/depression/treatment/ways-to-ease-seasonal-depression/

https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/tc/seasonal-affective-disorder-sad-topic-overview#1

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20364651

#1) https://www.amazon.com/Carex-Health-Brands-Day-Light-Classic/dp/B00PCN4UVU/ref=sr_1_1?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1443714295&sr=1-1&keywords=light%2Bbox%2Bcarex&th=1

# 2) https://smile.amazon.com/Sunrise-Simulation-UPGRADED-Brightness-Function/dp/B078MMWN9P/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1518241350&sr=8-6&keywords=dawn+simulator

Photo provided by: maik-fischer-522657 upsplash.com