Is It Just Winter Time Blues… Or Is It More?
I don’t allow my kids to use the word “hate” but if you promise to not tell them I said this…. I HATE winter. Not only do I hate the blistering cold, the routine interrupting snow, and the lack of sunlight but I hate the small things such as trying to push my grocery cart to my car in the snow, or the time I left a can of pop in my freezing car overnight, and the skyrocketing gas bills, the stir craziness of my family, driving to and from work in the dark, wearing a coat into a store so I don’t freeze only to find that I may now suffer a heat stroke while inside….. long story short I hate it all. I know many of you are with me on this strong opinion and while most of it is just the winter time blues and everyday displeasure you will want to be sure that you are not suffering from SAD (seasonal affective disorder).
One of the biggest reasons you will want to determine (with the help of your doctor) if you suffer from SAD is that there are things you can do to improve it and therefore improve your overall quality of life (and isn’t that the point!). Some of the signs to look for in SAD is less energy, trouble concentrating, fatigue, greater appetite, increased desire to be alone, weight gain, and increased sleep. If this sounds like you than in addition to contacting your doctor you can try spending some time outside everyday (even if it’s cloudy), light therapy (your doctor can tell you more), eating a well balanced diet even if you are craving carbs and starches, 30 minutes of exercise a day, and staying or getting involved in regular social interaction. These methods should help but you and your doctor may be able to discuss other ways as well that can help improve your recurring seasonal affective disorder.