Don't let the loss of daylight get you down in the winter, beat blues with some basic self-care
Feeling a little extra fatigued during the winter months? You're not alone. Even Floridians can feel the effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Seasonal Affective Disorder is a form of depression that recurs regularly at certain times of the year, usually beginning in late fall or early winter and lasting into spring.
Scientists think SAD is caused by a biochemical change in the brain, triggered by shorter days and reduced sunlight during the winter.
Common symptoms of SAD
Here are some of the common symptoms you may experience:
- Depressed mood
- Loss of energy
- Increased sleep
- Irritability and difficulty concentrating
- Change in appetite/weight gain
When Daylight Savings Time comes to an end and you change your clocks back, be proactive about your mental health and start practicing self-care.
Soak in the sunlight and boost your mood
Head outdoors before it gets dark. Whether you're visiting a Hillsborough County Park or taking a lunchtime stroll, getting proper exercise is a great way to practice self-care and improve overall wellness.
Take a breather
According to Mental Health America, meditation and other stress management techniques can help prevent symptoms of Seasonal Affective disorder. Have a few minutes to spare? Here are some quick and simple exercises from Hillsborough County's Healthy Living program.
Develop healthy habits
Eating a well-balanced diet can increase your energy and improve your mental wellness. Check out the Mindful Mondays Eat Well series, where a registered dietician from the Hillsborough County Aging Services department shows you quick, easy, and healthy recipes.