Seasonal Affective Disorder.
It is a condition that induces feelings of depression or low moods and contributes to difficulty in concentrating and a lack of energy, as well as an increased desire to eat and sleep during the winter months.
Symptoms may begin in late autumn and can continue until late spring (April).
What's important to understand is not everyone experiences the same symptoms but there are some other signs of SAD, which include:
- Craving for sweet or starchy, high carbohydrate foods,
- Weight gain
Although many things may be responsible for SAD, the lack of exposure to full spectrum natural light appears to be the most common explanation.
Are Counsellors and Counsellors-in Training immune to SAD.
It can impact everyone.
Nutritionally, you may want to eat foods that help produce more serotonin.
Foods such as fish, turkey, chicken, cottage cheese, avocados, beans, bananas, wheatgerm, these are all rich in tryptophan, an amino acid and precursor to serotonin production in the body.
Serotonin that is used in the brain must be produced within it, so keeping a healthy nourished brain is beneficial.
Plant based foods, such as flaxseed, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and walnuts are excellent, as well as green leafy vegetables, all rich in the essential fatty acid Omega 3.
Oily fish, such as salmon, mackerel, sardines and anchovies also contain Omega 3.
Deficiency of B vitamins has also been linked to low mood, relating to light reduction, so eating more wholegrains, rye, spelt, brown rice, oats, these are all excellent mood-boosting foods, consider making porridge, hearty soups, stews with beans, lentils and plenty of vegetables can help.
People who feel affected by the lack of sunlight, may often opt for a Vitamin D supplement.
Doctors now will test for it in full blood counts and natural light boxes are becoming increasingly popular, a bit like this one.
Just 30 minutes first thing in the morning can boost the messages of light to the brain.
It is most often overlooked, you think you're invincible and can just keep going.
When in fact, if you recognise any of these characteristics within yourself, then it's even more important to take one giant leap to support yourself.
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