Do you find you feel a less energetic during the fall and winter months? If so, you may be living with seasonal affective disorder. I know I used to really feel differently then. I remember being at home when I was growing up. Yes, I was very young when I began to experience it. In my bedroom, the light changed, the shadows were different…longer. I just didn’t feel great.
I struggled with depression from the age of twelve until several years ago when I changed my eating lifestyle and gave myself a new lease on life. During these past few years, I occasionally still notice I can feel a bit off in the winter. I used to struggle with seasonal affective disorder or what they now refer to as SAD. The term was coined by Dr. Norman Rosenthal, and a really great article about the condition was sent to me by a close friend. In part it says:
When Dr. Norman Rosenthal moved to the U.S. from South Africa, he felt less energetic during the harsh winters. He noticed that other people felt the same way. “Just like the autumn leaves, they became depressed on schedule,” says Rosenthal, a clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown University School of Medicine. “In spring, the condition reverses itself.” He studied the problem, published the first research on the syndrome and coined its name: seasonal affective disorder, or SAD.
Rosenthal found that about 1 in 20 people in the U.S. has SAD. If you have it, you may feel sluggish or depressed, oversleep, overeat, gain weight and be uninterested in doing things you previously enjoyed. Many more people have the winter blues, a milder version of SAD, where you feel like a sadder, sleepier or slower version of yourself.
You can read the complete article here
There are a few things I’ve learned to do to support my mood during the colder, darker months. First, I make sure I’m supplementing with Vitamin D3; I take between 5,000-7,000 units per day, but check with your health care professional before making any changes or additions to what you take. Here’s a link to the Vitamin D I use: https://cherylloves.me/vitamind
I do two other things. One is to take SAMe. It’s produced in the body, but you can supplement with it, and I do. Actually, because I struggled with depression for so many years, I take it pretty much year round with a few short breaks. Again, please consult your health care professional. SAMe supports joint health, liver function, brain metabolism and mood!
If you’re wondering what in the world SAMe is, the Mayo Clinic says this: “S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAMe) is a compound found naturally in the body. SAMe helps produce and regulate hormones and maintain cell membranes.” While SAMe has been sold as a supplement in this country since 1999, it has been used as a prescription drug for many years in Italy, Spain and Germany. Again, check with your health care provider, especially if you take any prescription medications.
The third tool I use is a full spectrum light. I don’t use this all the time, but still do occasionally. In the winter months when the days are shorter and we tend to be inside more, getting that extra bit of full spectrum light can really help. Here’s a link if you’d like to check this out. https://cherylloves.me/lighttherapy
Feeling down isn’t any fun, and when there are steps you can take that may help, it’s a good idea to be proactive and see if you feel better!
Helping You Achieve Major Wellness!
Cheryl A Major, CNWC
I’m author, health coach, and entrepreneur Cheryl A Major, and I would love to connect with you. If you’re new to the world of creating a better mindset for yourself, please check out my training on how to do just that at Embrace Optimism. Learn how to improve your mindset and create a happier and more positive life for yourself and those around you.
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