What is SAD Syndrome?
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons — SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year. It typically starts in the late fall and early winter and go away during the spring and summer. Depressive episodes linked to the summer can occur, but are much less common than winter episodes of SAD.
What is the cause of SAD?
The reduced level of sunlight in fall and winter may cause winter-onset SAD. This decrease in sunlight may disrupt your body’s internal clock and lead to feelings of depression. A drop in Serotonin levels, a brain chemical (neurotransmitter) that affects mood, might play a role in SAD.
People may experience:
Mood: anxiety, apathy, general discontent, loneliness, loss of interest, mood swings, or sadness
Sleep: excess sleepiness, insomnia, or sleep deprivation
Whole body: appetite changes or fatigue
Behavioural: irritability or social isolation
Also common: depression, lack of concentration, or weight gain
5 Ways to Treat SAD Naturally
- Light Therapy
Melatonin and Serotonin are the two hormones that control our energy levels. When we wake up to the daylight, we produce seratonin, which keeps us awake and focused. In the dark winter months, with a lack of outdoor exposure, the body produces excess levels of melatonin making us sleepy and increasing our risk of depression. So go out in Sun, enjoy walks, do sun bathing, enjoy meditation in sun or just plan a picnic with family and friends.
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- Exercise Yourself to Health and Wellness!
Exercise is a vital stimulant when feeling low and helps the release of endorphins(happy hormones). Exercising daily and preferably exposing yourself to natural outdoor light, is precisely what is needed to help restore your circadian rhythm. Pick a brisk walk as routine, or go out for cycling, do an outdoor gym or pick up any exercise you enjoy to stay happy, fit and healthy, which helps to increase general wellness.
- Break Away from Stimulants
Lets beak away from the coping mechanisms of waking up with a cup of coffee/tea or a glass of wine to relax in the evenings. This unnatural ways to force our bodies to states of high and low is a very unhealthy way to fight winters. As per Ayurveda winters are for wholesome foods and herbal teas to rejuvenate, heal and nourish our bodies. Start your day with lemon-ginger lukewarm water, herbal infusions, herbal tea etc.. And eat wholesome, nutritious food with good fats(ghee, nuts) to keep warm, active and healthy.
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- Open Your House To Natural Sunlight – Source of Vitamin D
Its advisable to open windows and doors to fresh air and sunlight. Plant your house with greens around to alleviate mood, sit outside in sun.
> Learn about the Vitamin D Deficiency Causes, Symptoms, Home Remedies
- Self Help
Finding ways to reduce stress is also of benefit in preventing the symptoms of SAD or at least in reducing their severity. So just don’t limit yourself to your dark gloomy room or four walls of your home. Go out meet friends over a lunch in outdoor space, catch up for coffee, have lunch out in sun, chit chat with friends over a walk in park. Practice meditation or do yoga in groups. Indulge in some beauty regimes, move out for shopping to local bazaars than malls as this is the best time to do that. Plan a heritage walk, food walk with your local interest based groups. Join a hobby class, go out and just be with your surroundings.