Quick Fix for Dealing with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and Winter-Weather Gloominess!
I get a bit bummed out during the winter. Do you?
If so, it’s not just the dreary weather that could be getting you down – the lack of sunlight in the winter months can have an actual impact on your body.
In fact, there’s a real diagnosis for people who “get depressed in the winter but feel much better in spring and summer” = SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder.
A bit of info about SAD:
Seasonal affective disorder (also called SAD) is a type of depression that occurs at the same time every year. If you’re like most people with seasonal affective disorder, your symptoms start in the fall and may continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody. Don’t brush off that yearly feeling as simply a case of the “winter blues” or a seasonal funk that you have to tough out on your own. Take steps to keep your mood and motivation steady throughout the year. (Mayo Clinic)
Now, I wouldn’t say that I have full-blown SAD – which, by the way, is most common in both women and people between the ages of 15 and 55 – but I certainly do feel the effect of the lack of sunlight in the winter months.
In years past, I’ve taken a vitamin D supplement for my seasonal blues/depression. But today, I happened to be at my doctor’s office for my yearly physical, and I asked him about his tips for seasonal depression.
He told me that even more effective than vitamin D supplements is, of course, sunlight. But since winter weather yields clouds that block the sun entirely for many days in a row, another alternative is incandescent light. Yep, regular old light bulbs. He told me to put the highest-wattage lightbulb I can safely use in the lamps in my house, and to leave those lamps on as often as possible during the day.
I’m adding 100-watt lightbulbs to my shopping list and giving this a try. Thanks for the tip, Dr. E!