Winter: Joyful or S.A.D. Time of Year?


Winter is always associated as the holly and jolliest time of the year, but is it really that great of a time? Since December has arrived, Winter and all of its tidings, whether they are good or bad, are here. Colds, dry skin and eyes, lack of exercise, and motivational changes are among the health issues that Winter is known to exacerbate. However, above all of the aforementioned effects of Winter, the most common and devastating is known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD is a kind of depression that is linked to seasonal variations – it begins and finishes at roughly the same periods each year. If you’re like most SAD sufferers, your symptoms begin in the fall and last into the winter, sapping your energy and making you cranky. These symptoms usually go away in the spring and summer. SAD induces depression less frequently in the spring or early summer and resolves in the fall or winter. But what can we do to understand and fix this? 

The actual etiology of SAD is unknown, although some scientists believe that specific hormones induce mood changes at various times of the year, particularly during the Winter when there is less sunshine. Reduced exposure to sunshine might result in neurotransmitter imbalances, which impact your mood. It’s critical to take additional care of oneself throughout the winter to avoid acquiring SAD. Maintaining a healthy daily routine of certain behaviors is beneficial in treating SAD. Here are some things you can do to avoid SAD:

Get as much sunshine as possible: Stepping outside or allowing sunlight in through the window can improve your body’s serotonin levels, which will help to regulate your mood. Sunlight will also assist to brighten the atmosphere and keep you alert. This is known as light therapy, and while certain artificial sources, such as a light box, might assist, sunlight is the brightest and most complete light source available; in other words, it is the best kind of light even when there is cloud cover.

Don’t exclude exercise from your everyday routine: Colder weather pushes many individuals indoors, which might lead to justifications for not exercising. Exercise a few times each week to help produce endorphins, a hormone that gives you a natural high and puts you in a better mood and makes you more active. While lack of exercise may not be the core cause of SAD, it is undoubtedly a factor that exacerbates the consequences of sadness. Exercise is often regarded as one of the most effective treatments for depressive disorders in general.

Get enough rest: Sleeping seven to eight hours every night is required to keep your mind and body in check. Consistent sleep is the ideal type of sleep, which requires determining your circadian rhythm, your body’s and brain’s way of understanding when to sleep and when to wake. Bedtime and wake hours should be the same every day and night. Sleep is the most effective technique to heal and reset the mind, as well as the most effective treatment for any kind of depression. For those who have sleep issues, you may also enhance your sleep by eliminating stimulants such as coffee, tea, and heavy meals close to bedtime. A nutritious diet rich in complex carbohydrates and lean proteins promotes consistent serotonin and melatonin levels and relaxing before bed can also help reduce stress. 

Overall, taking these tiny actions may assist the circadian rhythm in adjusting more quickly. That might imply brighter times amid what are truly the worst days for millions of people suffering from mood disorders. It’s beneficial for the Wildcat Community to enjoy this upcoming winter, but also remain safe and healthy— keep in mind the ongoing flu outbreak, the remnants of COVID and many other illnesses are in the air much more during the Winter. That is why it is important that when you are getting involved with others you still try to be safe. However, do not let anything get you down or keep you from being happy and enjoying yourself! Life is to be cherished, and spent wisely, so get out there even now in the frigid weather!