Wednesday, September 21, 2016

It’s That Time of the Year – Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

It’s fall! It’s fall.

Fall is one of my favorite times of the year – going to the mountains to see the vibrant gold aspen, drinking hot apple cider and enjoying beautiful fall days here in Colorado.

But, this week I could tell it was fall for another reason—the cloud I can feel descending on me. It surprised me because I didn’t expect to notice my Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) until late October or November.

At this point, the symptoms are pretty subtle:
  • It’s harder to get up in the morning.
  • I am sleeping longer.
  • I could eat cookies and chips all day long.
  • Feeling more blah.
  • And, once in a while, feeling plain depressed.

Really, on certain days it feels like a cloud hovering over me that sometimes descends and I realize, yep, I am feeling depressed.

The good news is I now know what to do for it instead of wallowing in it or worrying about it.

My plan of attack:
  • Be aware of my mood and emotions. Don’t shut down. Accept it when I can’t change it.
  • Increase my Vitamin D. I cut it back over the summer when I am out in the sun more.
  • Exercise. Getting outside for a walk does wonders for my mood.
  • Think about what I eat. Probably time to clear the house of cookies and chips.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Take time for things I enjoy. Writing, music, playing with grandbabies…
  • Connect with friends and family.
  • Take time to connect with God.
  • Give myself lots of compassion and grace.

My action list is pretty much my daily practice anyway. But I know to be much more intentional about it this time of the year.

Bring it on! I am ready for fall!