Emotional and Mental

Seasonal Affective Disorder

If your mood tumbles with the falling autumn leaves, you may suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD also known as the winter blues is characterized by episodes of depression in fall and winter which dissipate in the warmer, brighter spring and summer months. SAD is directly related to changes in the amount of sunlight absorbed by the body, affecting body temperature, hormone production and an overall sense of well-being. 

  1. Changes in appetite
  2. Inability to concentrate or focus
  3. Sleep problems
  4. A craving for carbohydrates
  5. Weight gain
  6. Decreased energy
  7. Irritability
  8. Withdrawal from social relationships & situations
  9. Fatigue
  1. Follow the Light. Walk on the sunny side of the street, or turn on every light in your house.
  2. Make your bed every morning. This will remind you that returning to bed during the day is a no-no and it will help you to stay and feel organized.
  3. Sleep less. Get the recommend eight hours of sleep, but avoid sleeping longer than that. Limit or avoid sleep aids.
  4. Stay connected. Focus on face-to-face contact over Internet chatting. Make plans and keep commitments.
  5. Do small projects. Staying productive will help your mood. Don't let mail, dirty dishes or laundry pile up. You will only feel worse.
  6. Be realistic about your moods. Don't set your expectations too high.
  7. Keep it simple. Don't over plan, overextend or overdo. This is not the time to take on a big project.
  8. Eat regularly. Try to focus on meals high in protein and low in simple carbs and sugars.
  9. Limiting alcohol intake and drinking extra water is helpful.
  10. Exercise & fresh air. Try to get outside as much as possible when weather permits. Oxygen and light work wonders.

Remember SAD is physiological rather than psychological. If you are experiencing the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), your Best Care EAP can help. For a confidential appointment with a professional counselor contact Best Care EAP.

To schedule your confidential appointment, call (402) 354-8000 or (800) 801-4182, or send an email.