All of us have probably heard of SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder, which is basically a form of depression in the winter due to the lack of sunlight. With the change in season also comes a change in mood and many are affected by this condition. Some symptoms of SAD are sleeping too much, overeating, loss of energy, social withdrawal and difficulty concentrating. Here are some ways to help combat these changes.
*Get outside! This is sometimes easier said than done in Vermont winters, but there is no substitute for natural light. If you work during the day, try going for a quick walk at lunch or during a break. If you have dogs, take them out for a short walk when you get home!
* Stay social! Interact with family and friends regularly. Since outdoor activities can get restricted during the colder weather, start new indoor traditions. Your friends and family will most likely appreciate a chance to do something fun as well!
*Volunteer! Our local animal shelter Homeward Bound is always looking for volunteers to help socialize their dogs and cats. Call United Way and see if there is something you can do to help in an area you are interested in. Doing good for others is emotionally beneficial and a great way to beat the winter blues.
* Balanced diet! Up your servings of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and cholesterol-free sources of protein such as beans, nuts and tofu. We are what we eat, and a healthier diet equals a healthier, happier body.
*Music! Turn on your favorite music and dance with your significant other in the living room, have a dance party with the kids and get the wiggles out or just dance it out by yourself with all your favorite, funky dance moves. Have fun, get silly and let the good energy flow!