Friday, January 22, 2010

Is the weather making you S.A.D.?

I don't know about you but I am really getting tired of the dreary weather here in Kansas!  We haven't seen a ray of sunshine in weeks...and we were supposed to today but by the looks of it chances are slim to none.  So, I decided to do a little research on what we all can do to make these Winter Blues go away.  I have talked to many others who have felt irritable, crabby, tired, etc.  In fact, everyone I know is talking about it!
S.A.D. is known as Seasonal Affective Disorder.  It is more common in women according to WebMD.  People who usually get it live in areas where winter days are very short or there are big changes in the amount of daylight in different seasons. Symptoms of S.A.D. include feeling sad, grumpy, moody, anxious, loss of interest in usual activities, increased cravings for carbohydrates, weight gain & daytime drowsiness.  (Check all of the above for me!) 
How can we feel better?  I looked up several ways to do this naturally and this is what I found...
  • Exercise- Physical exercise may release hormones and neurochemicals that restore our body's balance.  Exercise also releases endorphins which has been known to induce euphoria.
  • Get as much light as possible- sit near a window to absorb the natural light while you are inside.
  • Manage stress- keep schedules simple & avoid rushing.  Schedule relaxation in your day.  Try a Yoga class or meditation!  Even listening to calm music is helpful, I love Yiruma (and this video shows clips of Twilight which can always make me smile)
  • Get plenty of sleep- Make sure you are getting at least 8 hours of sleep.  This will also help your body with carbohydrate cravings.
  • Laugh-  Rent a comedy, find something on YouTube, tell a joke.  Laughing is a natural stress reliever, and it's Free!
If you are suffering from S.A.D. this winter I hope that some of these suggestions help you!  In the meantime I'll keep praying for sunshine!!

Information provided by WebMD & iVillage

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