Sustaining High Spirits This Winter
It's easy to get caught up in the craziness that comes with the end of the year; your responsibilities can range from holidays to end-of-year work at the office. But one thing many forget until it's too late is self-care. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that's related to changes in seasons. If you're like most people with SAD, your symptoms start each year in the fall and continue into the winter months. Your energy is drained and you feel extremely moody. Approximately 14 to 26 percent of people may have mild SAD and it is four times more common in women than in men.
The Foundation cares about the wellness of not only people with CdLS, but their families as well. We've put together this quick list to help you fight the winter blues in no time for an enjoyable conclusion to 2016.
1. Stay active. The cold weather may make you want to stay inside, but be sure to do so in moderation. Be sure to get some exercise in order to release endorphins--the natural chemicals that make you happy!
2. Volunteer. It isn't called the season of giving for nothing! Now is the time to reflect on the positives in your life, and then give back. We aren't talking about physical gifts; we're talking about donating your ever-precious time. Soup kitchens and donation centers are desperate this time of year for volunteers to serve meals or organize toys for charity. Take an hour or two to see who needs help in your community--they'll definitely appreciate it.
3. Rest. Not to contradict with our first tip, resting is powerful when fighting poor moods. If you're exhausted from all of your year-end activities you're more likely to have increased irritability; and no one likes a Scrooge during the holidays. When you have spare time or a day off, treat yourself to a nap or an extra hour of sleep--you'll be surprised how refreshed you may feel.
4. Talk about it. Sometimes it helps to hear your feelings out loud. You might also be surprised to see who shares your SAD-like feelings, and how support can help.
We'd love to keep the conversation going. Share your tips in the comments below! Be sure to also look out for more ideas in the CdLS Foundation's upcoming resource, Taking Care of Me.
SAD definition adapted from www.mayoclinic.com
SAD demographics from www.aafp.org