Seasonal Affective Disorder & 7 Tips to Brighten Up Your Winter Months
Post by Dan Marriott
“I just want to stay indoors, eat food and hibernate, rather than go outside”
Why is it, we tend to lay low throughout the winter months?
Our energy levels dip, we crave foods that are dense in calories and we don’t want to leave the house, shutting ourselves off from the world. It feels summer is a distant memory and it seems like a million years until the next one.
People who suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), can relate to this. In fact, I hazard a guess that most of us, at some point will have had some form of this during winter.
That feeling of lethargy, not really wanting to to anything, constantly craving sh**ty food, beating yourself up because you want to lose body fat, but in fact you’re stacking it on. We sleep for longer than we should, which then in turn affects our mood and energy levels, waking up groggy and it takes about 5 cups of coffee in the morning to get us going.
So what brings about SAD?
Well it isn’t fully understood, however there are some studies out there to suggest that it could be down to a lack of sunlight (vitamin D) and the change in climate.
Lack of sunlight and the change in weather may not be the only factors to have an affect on your mood. Cold temperatures reduce the bodies release of a hormone that stimulates thirst, by approximately 40%.
Robert Kenefick states, that during cold temperatures, the body shifts blood away from the surface and moves it to the core, to help keep it warm. Thus, meaning the brain is less likely to detect onset of dehydration and therefore, more prone to inhibiting the secretion of fluid regulating hormones to stimulate thirst and fluid conservation.
So what can we do to help fight off SAD?
Here are some quick, bullet point tips to help:
- Get a sunrise/ sunset alarm clock. These are great through the winter months and help the body wake up in the morning with some artificial light.
- Keep the house bright in the evenings and mornings.
- Supplement Vitamin D
- Keep hydrated
- Get outside as much as possible, when it is light
- Exercise to help keep energy and mood levels up
- Save some holidays for the winter, to get some warm sun
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