Seasonal Affective Disorder – SAD

autumn-tree

Autumn time can be wonderful with the changing colours and abundance of reds and golds. With the evenings drawing in and snuggling up and getting cosy indoors. Many however, may feel a sense of dread as the daylight hours become less and less. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a debilitating disorder that affects many people across many cultures. Especially during autumn, winter and early spring.

Symptoms of SAD can be: difficulty concentrating, negative thoughts, depression, a craving for carbohydrates and possible overeating and weight gain, excessive sleepiness, tiredness in the mornings and decreased libido.

What you can do to help reduce symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder

Light therapy

There are now SAD light boxes available to help increase your exposure to light. Without sufficient levels of morning light our bodies circadian rhythms are not triggered and our body fails to produce the hormones required to feel wide awake.

Exercise

Regular exercise releases happy hormones so makes you feel good. It also stimulates your body systems and they will work more effectively. And getting tired physically can help to give you a good nights’ sleep too.

Diet

Eat regular meals and chose from a wide variety of seasonal vegetables. Include root vegetables and winter greens which are now plentiful. Try to avoid sweet/sugary and greasy foods as these are heavy to digest and can make you feel more lethargic as well as increase your weight.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture can help lift your mood during the darker times of the year. Acupuncture regulates your hormonal system and so helps with sleep. It relaxes you mind and body so you feel better in yourself.  It optimises the functioning of your internal organs, regulating digestion and helps reduce cravings.

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