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MANAGING SAD DISORDER

Hello everybody and welcome back to another blog!

As the weather has been slightly warmer over the past couple of days my energy, motivation, happiness and desire to eat well has all spiked up in excitement. I know why this is and that is because I, like so many others suffer from SAD disorder so when the sun comes out... so does ya gal jas.

Seasonal affective disorder is a type of depression that occurs on and off with the change in season. I find that in the winter all I want to do is hide away in my house with copious amounts of chocolate and hearty meals and with my history with food I find the winter and incredibly challenging and testing time.

Symptoms of SAD include the obvious bad mood, sleeping for longer than necessary, feeling tired during the day, feeling lethargic and craving carbohydrates. I for one get all of these symptoms in the winter and I can bet that the majority of people reading this can say they relate to at least one.

Now you may be thinking, yes, that is me and I had no idea, but why does this happen? We feel these symptoms due to a number of factors such as the production of serotonin and melatonin (hormones in the body). Serotonin affects your sleeping pattern, mood and appetite and a lack of sunlight can lower these levels making you feel depressed. Melatonin makes you feel sleepy and if you already suffer from SAD, then your body may produce even higher levels of this. Lastly, your internal body clock is affected by sunlight and lower levels of light in the mornings can break your routine and also lead to SAD.

However in the spring and summer when the sun is shining, I cannot wait to get out of bed in the morning, I enjoy walking to the gym, I want to go out and see people, I want to be out taking photographs and I find it second nature to be eating good food. The days feel longer and I get up earlier and feel much more productive in the warmer weather.

From as far back as I can remember I have had the desire to emigrate to Australia. I have been saying it for years on end and I think a part of this has stemmed from my SAD disorder. Yes I can cope with my SAD like so many others do but I have always felt like I wasn't made to be here which is also probably why I do feel so down during winter, because I am dreaming of where I plan to be in a couple of years time.

My advice for others dealing with SAD is to do more in the mornings. By waking up early, not only are you going to be seeing the most daylight possible throughout the day but you will have the time to be productive and proactive with your day so that you do not feel guilty of staying inside in the evening when it's too cold, dark and horrible to leave your house!

However if you are looking for a reason to try and leave your house to feel less depressed then one of my favourite things to do is to take my camera out with me and take some shots. I am no photographer but there is something rather therapeutic about capturing the scenery or weather when I am out and about either walking the dog or with friends.

Exercising helps to manage your stress levels and acts as a form of therapy, which is useful when trying to beat the negative thoughts SAD brings on. Finally, eating sensibly rather than binging comfort foods in the winter is fantastic for your energy levels and beating the lethargic and sleepy symptoms of SAD. Therefore making you feel better refreshed and more awake.

 

As always I hope this blog has given you some useful tips and advice.

 

Until next time,

 

J x

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