Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) can show itself in feeling low, anxiety, fatigue, weight gain, carbohydrate craving, lack of energy and difficulty concentrating during the dark winter months. Taking a holiday abroad at the darkest time of the year could be the key to alleviating SAD. Just a week of sunlight can warn off the symptoms for up to a month afterward. As holidays are not the cheapest option, an alternative would be exposure to lightboxes as these have been found to help sufferers of SAD by safely mimicking the effects of the summer sun.

Let’s look at the angle of health and fitness as there are many ways to help improve the symptoms of SAD. Regular exercise inside or outside could be almost as effective as light therapy for sufferers of the winter blues due to the release of the mood-boosting endorphins into the body following any type of strenuous exercise. Walking outdoors for 15mins every day can help relieve sad because the sunlight and natural light enables the body to produce vitamin D, raising mood-boosting brain chemicals and aiding circulation. Then maybe a little relaxation afterwards such as Tai Chi, Meditation, yoga, and massage to continue.

Choose protein to boost your mood and to avoid blood sugar surges which can affect mood. Stick to protein-rich foods that release sugar slowly such as turkey, chicken, salmon, kidney beans, lentils and also slow-release complex carbohydrates such as wholemeal bread and brown rice.

As we’re now approaching the party season it’s probably the last thing you’ll want to be doing if you’re suffering from SAD but it could be the best thing for you. Generally, people who make themselves socialise when they’re low feel happier sooner than staying at home.

If you suffer from SAD or think you may do, try one of the above suggestions see how you feel. If you have little ones, why not bring them along to one of my classes? Free to browse my fitness classes to see if you think this might help you, but if not look at your local gym or just get outside! You’ve nothing to lose only gain!