Many people experience a type of depression during the winter months, often referred to as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). According to the Mayo Clinic, SAD is marked by the onset of seasonal changes and can cause depression during the late fall and early winter months. SAD can start in November and last until spring.
SAD is not as common as we age because the mind and body begins to regulate with the changes in temperature. However, it is still important to be aware of and attempt to enjoy the colder months to avoid the feelings of depression or cabin fever that often come when we don’t receive direct sunlight.
Depending on where you live in the United States, you might be experiencing a few colder days or nights. The sun is still rearing its head and warming our skin in many parts of the US. Take it in while you still can! Snow is headed to the Midwest and most people will find themselves wishing it was spring very soon.
Set yourself up for success
Try to put yourself in a positive mindset before the freezing, gloomy days set in. There are many beautiful things about winter including the holidays, warm fireplaces, delicious meals and hot chocolate – to name just a few. Take a few moments to reflect on the things you love about winter. Write these ideas down on a sticky note or in a notebook where you’ll see them throughout the colder months.
Another excellent way to avoid cabin fever and lesson your chances of experiencing the cold weather blues is to try and stay connected with people. Interacting with friends and getting involved at your community can offer many benefits to your health. Make it your goal to stay or become more social in 2017! Enjoy the holidays with others and try something new. Remember that spring is right around the corner, but appreciate the beautiful falling snow and winter aromas while you can.
With winter just days away, stay as active as you can. Keep yourself moving, blood flowing and try not to spend too much time alone or cooped up.
Dial retirement communities offer many events and ways to stay social any time of the year. Ask a community employee how you can get involved. If you feel like you are having issues with depression or SAD, be sure to talk to someone about it immediately. Let us know how we can help!
The full article about SAD can be found here and includes symptoms, causes and risk factors.
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