3 Ways to Handle Changing Seasons

I love fall. It is hands down my favourite season compared to the unbearable heat of summer and the frigid cold of winter. I look forward to donning large knit sweaters, lace up boots, and feeling perfectly balanced with a cool breeze and a warm drink in hand (pretty typical girl stuff, eh?)

However, there are some big changes that follow when the seasons decide to change. The days get shorter, and we experience a deeper darkness in the sky. While this means sleeping tends to come a little bit easier, it also can trigger something called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) in some of us.

Between 2-6% of Canadians will experience SAD, and another 15% will experience a milder form which includes symptoms such as oversleeping, low energy levels, weight gain, and depressed mood. I know I personally feel changes in my mood depending on the weather and current season, and a childhood spent growing up in the darkness of Northern Canada has helped me to figure out some worthwhile strategies.


Light Therapy

There is a strong correlation between SAD and light deprivation, which is a symptom of changing seasons. In high school, my family bought light therapy lamps which emit UV rays similar to the sun or a tanning bed. There is strong research that this light therapy has an anti-depressant effect, and I know that using the lamp for 20-30 minutes each day helps to replenish some of the vitamin D I haven’t been getting.

 

Vitamin D Supplement

If light therapy isn’t available to you, it’s also worthwhile to supplement with vitamin D. My naturopath has recommended a liquid vitamin D supplement as it is absorbed easier into the body. Vitamin D has been a “wonder supplement” in the last couple of years with health benefits such as weight loss, improving symptoms of depression, and lower your chances of developing the flu. But most of all, vitamin D helps to support our immune function and is vital for good health. Those who live in northern climates should especially look into supplementing with vitamin D, and should get accurate dosage from their physician.

 

 

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Exercise

While the weather gets a little bit cooler, it always seems a bit harder to get out and exercise (or even go outside for that matter). However, I can guarantee that a little bit of sweat and endorphins will do wonders for your mood and overall health. Even if you don’t feel energized enough to run or go to the gym, find lower impact activities such as yoga or barre that you enjoy and can provide you similar mind/body benefits.

 


Changing seasons can feel like a heavy burden on our mood and energy levels, especially if you are already feeling some stress or anxiety around your everyday activities. Be aware of how your mood changes and look for achievable solutions early on as the season changes. Look for one or two close friends that you can confide in about how you’re feeling and any changes that do arise in your mood or energy levels.

We’re all in this together; let’s help each other out.

Mindfully yours,

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2 Comments

  • Zauni

    October 13, 2016

    Such a lovely post, and very helpful. I have a pretty bad vitamin D deficiency, and I never knew it was linked to depression. I’m not a huge supplement person, but I may have to test it out and see if it helps with depression symptoms.

    http://www.zaunitanil.com

    Reply

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