Seasonal Sadness: What It’s How To Deal With It
We are entering the period in which the days are getting shorter, the climate worsens , the sun becomes weaker and gives way to rain and bad weather. If in many cases it happens to be sad, anxious, nervous, in others it is instead a real condition called Seasonal Affective Syndrome , also defined by the acronym SAD (or Seasonal Affective Disorder ), which among other things in English it really means “sad”.
More common in autumn and winter, although cases of those who suffer from it are not rare in the period between spring and summer, this seasonal depression falls within the group of Meteoropathic Syndromes , or those problematic situations caused by climatic and seasonal variations, which occur with a set of negative psychophysical symptoms.
How does it manifest itself? Symptoms
Specifically, the most common manifestations of SAD sufferers in the winter months include: depression , sense of despair, anxiety, lack of energy , heaviness in the arms and legs, desire not to see anyone, loss of interest, sudden changes in appetite and craving for carbohydrates , weight gain, difficulty concentrating. Some scientists associate the problem with a possible lack of vitamin D due to little or no exposure to the sun.
The symptoms that rinscontra in summer instead are slightly different: anxiety, insomnia, irritability, agitation, weight loss, lack of appetite.
What are the causes?
The causes of SAD are not yet known, although some predisposing factors appear to exist. Among these, the disruption of the circadian rhythm (that is the internal clock of the organism that keeps itself synchronized with the natural cycle of day and night) caused by the lack of sun and responsible for the sense of depression that follows, and the alteration levels of serotonin , which regulate mood , and levels of melatonin , which affect sleep and mood.
In general, seasonal depression affects women more (although the men who suffer from it have more serious symptoms), those who live in the north, those with a family history of depression and those suffering from depression or bipolarity.
What can be done to get better?
SAD can also be faced with a series of easy-to-apply measures that aim to improve our psychophysical condition. Let’s see the most important:
- Expose yourself to sunlightas much as possible, then take a walk outdoors at every opportunity, sit on a bench, even if it’s cold and even if it’s cloudy is still better than staying indoors.
- Keep the shutters openso as to allow sunlight to enter and illuminate the workplace and home.
- Constantly engaging in physical exercise, which not only makes you feel better about yourself but also helps relieve stress and anxiety.
- Even the ‘ powercan help alleviate the symptoms of SAD, especially taking foods containing omega-3 fatty acids , such as salmon, herring and mackerel.
If symptoms are particularly severe, behavioral psychotherapy can be considered , which helps identify the cause of negative thoughts and turn them into positive stimuli.
Finally, Yoga, meditation and acupuncture can also prove to be effective practices for feeling better.