No doubt shorter days, gray skies and the cold are depressing, but could it be more than just the “winter blahs” you’re feeling? Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) impacts approximately 9% of all Americans each year (the rate is higher in areas where the change of season is severe) so that blah feeling you’re experiencing could be something more serious. The National Institute of Mental Health characterizes SAD by feelings of hopelessness, fatigue, problems with sleep, concentration and changes in appetite. The symptoms of the “winter blahs” are more mild than those of SAD and there are some ways to help alleviate those symptoms:
Light therapy is another way to boost your mood. Even if the temperature is cold, talking a mid-day walk in the sunshine can improve your body’s circadian rhythm. Lastly, it is important to check in with your health care professional during this time. He or she can help you determine if your winter blahs are more than just the winter blahs.