Let’s Take the Reigns on SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)

I want to discuss SAD. Not being sad, but rather the issue known as Seasonal Affective Disorder.

This is a very common disorder where your mood, feelings, and emotions are affected by shorter daylight and bad weather (i.e the colder months).

This might sound like something that will pass as quickly as it comes, but it’s worth discussing how to control it. Especially during a particularly long winter – or it may feel long considering our current circumstances.

If you find yourself feeling completely unmotivated, tired, and generally down, and there tends to be a pattern where you feel like you cannot be yourself during the winter, you may have SAD.

When this comes up for many people, you may think you should just wait it out; as once the weather changes, your mood will follow. 

Unfortunately, buried feelings can only get worse if not addressed, and we are creatures of habit. If your brain is not releasing enough of the feel-good chemicals (serotonin), and you just accept it, your brain will assume that it can limit your serotonin levels in the future. 

This is why it is especially important to address when you are feeling a lack of drive or enthusiasm in your life. We can all find a passion in life and these are the motivators that can keep us happy and healthy.

Whether it is finishing the next chapter in your book, or starting that business plan you have been thinking about for years. All these little motivators keep our brains feeding us that feel-good chemical that we need.

The reason I’ve been thinking about this more is that we are still limited in what we can do.

Seasonal Affective Disorder, in theory, is largely a result of limited sunlight and bad weather. The way we manage this usually, is by finding activities and tasks that will deflect how we are feeling about the weather. When something is out of your control, you take control back in some other way to reach that fulfillment.

This time, however, we can’t even do that, and our plans have been at the beck-and-call of the infamous Winter 2020/21.

So, with limited sunlight and things to keep you occupied, SAD can be a common issue. If not addressed, can stick around well into the Spring/Summer.

By bringing this to your attention, what I am hoping to do is allowing you to reflect on where your sadness (not SADness) is coming from. When you uncover that, find that small step to find more light in your life where you are usually lacking. You can do this in several small ways:

  • Start and new hobby or restart an old one
  • Reconnect with friends and family
  • Declutter, rearrange, or redecorate your home
  • Find an exercise that suits your lifestyle

Anything that fills you will joy or excitement just at the prospect of starting it, you can use that excitement as the motivator to get up and go.

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