While there are many people that suffer from depression all year round, seasonal depression is something that can effect people during the summer months but it is most common during the shorter days of winter. There are many different elements that can have an effect on someone’s mood but light is the most common culprit. During those few months after Daylight Savings when it seems to be dark every time you look outside, that is when most people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
Sunlight has a huge impact on our mental and physical health. Spending even just a few minutes in the sun causes our bodies to produce a chemical called serotonin which is what helps give us energy and boosts our mood. With the not so great weather during the fall and winter months, many people stay huddled in a blanket in their house for days at a time and their bodies start to produce more melatonin than serotonin – this is why so many people feel sleepy and sluggish. The longer you stay indoors, the more likely it is that you will start to feel the first signs of depression.
We know that it can be very hard to get up and go outside during those cold days, and that is why light boxes were created. A light box is a piece of equipment that uses special bulbs that mimic the sun for SAD treatment. The light enters through your eyes and causes your brain to release serotonin, just like if you were walking around outside. Since there is no ultraviolet rays, you won’t get any vitamins from the light but it will help you have the energy you need in order to get outside more often. Light therapy is a great way to stay happy during the holiday season, but it is still very important to spend some time outside.