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Are You Starting to Get SAD? (Seasonal Affective Disorder)



Seasonal Affective Disorder

We have all experienced the emotion of being sad, but have you ever really been diagnosed with it?

Feeling sad is normal, and it goes without saying that the upcoming winter months can be a drag. Freezing temperatures and dwindling time for daylight all contribute to a condition called SAD, better known as seasonal affective disorder.

Most of us are not blessed to live in a sunny tropical paradise year round, so we are forced to cope with seasonal changes. The winter months can be depressing, but it doesn’t mean you can’t do something to prevent the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder.

One simple remedy for curing your winter time blues? Eat right and exercise.

You have heard it many times before, but just to reiterate one important point: eating right and exercising makes you happy. With seasonal affective disorder affecting close to 20% of the people in the United States, shouldn’t you make it a point to take every possible step to make yourself happy?

Seasonal Affective Disorder is a form of depression, so it is not some rare uncommon condition that you should be ashamed of. In fact, it only makes sense that people may start feeling more depressed with darker days and colder evenings. The key is making yourself move around.

Winter calls for foods like sugar-cured ham, smoked turkey, and mounds of fattening sides that take up your entire kitchen table. When you stuff yourself silly, your body’s energy levels decline because your metabolism is using all of its excess energy to burn the extra calories you have just taken in. When your energy levels decline, your activity level declines, and you mosey your way to the couch and sit in front of the TV.

One way to avoid overstuffing yourself? Replace some of those filling holiday sides with foods that are higher in fiber but still tasty. By including more vegetable dishes like green beans, and broccoli, you can still have all the holiday foods you love without feeling all the guilt and the lack of energy that comes with them.

It may be cold outside, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay bundled up in bed without moving around.

In those cold winter months, you can make time for exercise by exercising indoors and even engaging in some fun winter activities with your family. By moving around and being active in the winter months, your body will release chemicals that can make you feel happier the natural way.

By not exercising during these winter months, studies have shown that people will feel more tired, and sleep a lot more than they normally would during the spring and fall. This may sound great, but this can actually lead to more fatigue, and more frequent occurrences of insomnia. This can also lead to higher instances of increased irritability, and more frequent outbursts of anger.

If you do feel like you are experiencing symptoms of Seasonal Aggressive Disorder, you should also contact your physician about your symptoms to see if they can provide you with any type of additional treatment.

By making smarter food choices, and engaging in frequent exercise, you can avoid the winter blues, and still maintain a healthier and happier mood.

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