Winter Blues

SAD. Seasonal Affective Disorder. Winter Blues. Seasonal or Winter Depression. Sunlight deprivation. Call it what you will, for me it is so real. For me, it has helped to understand what it is. In the years since figuring out the problem, I’ve done a lot of research.

This is by far the best book I’ve found, which has wonderful explanations of the why plus reviews on all the treatments available, including non-medication such as light therapy, diet and exercise. Some of the suggestions that I follow from the book are:

* Daily exercise – at least 30 minutes is strongly encouraged

* Lower carbohydrate diet – perfect for me anyway – but a good reminder that more carbs don’t really help

* Lots of omega foods like salmon and tuna

* Daily light therapy

* Vitamin supplements (D, B’s, E’s, Omegas)

(You can click on the book image to go to the Amazon page)

My wonderful husband is going to try and build me a sunrise simulator so I can wake up to gradually increased light. I can’t wait to try it.  In the meantime, I’ve got my blue-light box at work and I’m doing about an hour a day now, split up into 15 minute sessions. I can really tell when I don’t do it (on the weekends) because today it is very, very hard to get going. More than a typical Monday, I mean.

I’ve found that it helps to acknowledge the SAD and not beat myself up because I’m not racing around from October to February like I do from March to September.  Being gentle with myself, but pushing enough to get in 30 minutes or more of exercise every day. Plus the sunlight therapy. Plus the vitamin supplements. The therapy sessions. Eating right. It all helps.

And I keep reminding myself that Spring will come. Eventually.

2 thoughts on “Winter Blues

  1. I ordered this book, Karen. As I read your post, I thought about how I was affected by this (I think) last winter. Thanks for the information and the book idea.

  2. I am a sun-loving girl as well. Just 15-30 minutes outside when it is sunny can also make a big difference. With the weather in Atlanta, there are often opportunities even during the shortest days. The more skin you can expose – short sleeves or roll them up and pull up the pants legs/or wear shorts. You can work out, take a walk, or relax and lunch in the sun or read a great book. I also try to open my sunroof (or roll down the window if you don’t have one) if it is a sunny day – carpool lines and traffic time in the sun adds up!

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