Mental Health

Feeling Down During the Winter?


1 minute - Article

It Could Be That You Are Experiencing (SAD) Symptoms.

Some people experience more than just feeling a bit down during winter. They experience full-blown symptoms of depression that can appear in months where there is less sunlight. This is known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Some symptoms of SAD include:

  • Feeling of sadness, anxiety, and hopelessness for most of the day
  • Sleeping too much or having trouble sleeping
  • Fatigue and low energy
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Increased cravings for sweet and starchy foods leading to weight gain.
  • Loss of interest in activities that were previously enjoyed.

It's important to note that even though SAD may only occur during the darker months of the year, it is a very real and distressing form of depression that can be life-threatening in severe cases.

Steps you can take.

  • If you suspect that you may be experiencing SAD, it's important to make an appointment with your doctor.
  • You may want to bring a list of the changes you have noticed in yourself recently. Your doctor can assess whether there could be a physical cause for your lowered mood (such as low iron, a thyroid imbalance, or a vitamin deficiency) and discuss interventions such as light therapy, medication, and/or counseling.
  • If you live with SAD, try to focus on what you can do to feel better such as prioritizing your self-care including using the medicine wheel teachings, keeping a sleep schedule, and increasing your exposure to daylight. Keep in mind that these strategies aren’t to be used instead of treatments.