As winter gets closer and closer many of us will suffer with some form of SAD (Seasonal Affected Disorder). We may feel sluggish and lethargic, this of course is due to a lack of Sunlight leading to prolonged amounts of time indoors during these colder months and completing a vicious cycle. Getting enough fresh air and sunlight is paramount to feeling fresh and full of vitality, this is why while I know it can be hard to force yourself outside into the garden of an evening or weekends to tidy your flowerbeds or just sit in front of a wood burning fireplace I highly recommend getting outdoors. Even if it’s dark and cold why give in to the dark side and stay trapped inside?
If you notice you feel differently to how you generally feel day-to-day and think you may be suffering from SAD, symptoms include:
- Problems Sleeping
- Over Eating & Drinking
- Difficulty Coping with Social Situations
- Anxiety & Stress
- Libido (lack of)
- Mood Swings
These symptoms are closely associated with SAD but are not the only ailments and certainly not all attributed to suffering from SAD either. With that being said, there are things we can do such as: Light Therapy and also eating and exercising properly. What is recommended is that we increase production of the chemicals needed to keep our body regulated closer to how it normally operates. A few things to be aware of:
Melonin and What it does
The pineal gland which is in the middle of the brain responds to darkness and secretes the chemical melotonin which re sets the brains internal clock helping to regulate the wake/sleep cycle with the light/dark cycle. With more dark than light in these months our body becomes out of sync.
What is Serotonin?
It’s a neurotransmitter mostly associated with appetite, libido, mood and sleep cycles. Serotonin is produced with the bodies exposure to light, with a reduction in exposure to light, less serotonin is produced and therefore can play haywire with our routines and how we usually feel. Luckily serotonin is also released during and after exercise and when you eat certain protein rich foods and carbs.
Exercsing to combat SAD
If you exercise 3 times a week (as a minimum) you increase your chances of feeling good about yourself and balancing out the desire to shut down and hibernate. Exercising wakes your body up and floods it with endorphins. You might even live longer.
Eating the right foods
Give your body nutrient dense foods and you will be effectively filling up your tank with the best fuel possible for optimum performance. Most people know this but still snack on candy and sugary foods, get the high, hit the low and still wonder why they aren’t feeling quite right!
Further Reading Here: