As we gear up for the winter season, we think about all the warm fuzzies of the season. Family dinners, Christmas tree decorating, sugar cookie eating, gift giving and family traditions, no matter how obscure. Very rarely do we think about how the winter weather can affect how much we enjoy the festivities of the season.
Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, is a mood disorder that shows up when people who have typically healthy mental patterns most of the year, but experience depressive symptoms in one of the seasons, particularly during the cold winter months.
The reasons for the winter doldrums have much speculation surrounding them. Is it the weather? Lack of sunlight? Lack of exercise outdoors because of the weather? While we may not be able to pinpoint why we feel down in the dumps, we do know of a few simple changes we can make to our daily/weekly routine that can help perk you right up.
Keep in mind that feeling down in the winter months is common, while the more severe SAD is less common. Changes in lifestyle can lead to positive changes in mood across the board. If you are experiencing extreme depressive moods, please seek medical counsel.