SAD Awareness Month

December is a busy month. Preparing for the holidays, shopping for gifts, decorating, baking, and pinching pennies to make it all happen can bring about stress, sadness, and depression. The shorter days and additional darkness may bring about Seasonal Affective Disorder.

The symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder are mild to severe depression, weight gain, daytime sleepiness, increased irritability or anxiety, and, possibly, social withdrawal. Females in their 20’s are the most vulnerable to this disorder; though it may affect anyone of any age.

Some of the ways to treat this disorder are to increase the amount of light in the environment. There are special light boxes made especially for this purpose. Just turning on more lights, though, may be helpful. Exercise is always a good choice for increasing endorphins, and bringing about a more positive mood. A good night’s sleep, at least seven hours, promotes good overall health and can deter the negatives of Season Affective Disorder. Conversation with a friend, watching a good comedy, or laughing at jokes are always good choices. Choosing healthy ways to lighten the load and ease the mind are effective ways to keep from letting the stress get out of hand.