BE KIND Wellness Wednesday – Got the winter blues?

Happy Wellness Wednesday!

Wellness Wednesday emails are designed to provide you with simple tools, information, and resources to encourage positive and healthy lifestyle choices. As a proud recipient of The Healthy Arizona Worksite Award, The Be Kind People Project is committed to the health and wellness of its employees, friends, and family.

“Winter blues,” or something else?

The holidays bring joy and love, but they also can bring on some hard feelings. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) occurs in almost 3 million Americans every year as the seasons change. Let’s learn about what SAD is and how we can take care of ourselves this holiday season.

What is SAD?

According to the Mayo Clinic, SAD is classified as a type of depression related to the changing of the seasons. Most cases occur within the fall and winter months. However, issues can also occur in spring or early summer as well. While the exact causes of SAD are still unknown, here are some factors that may cause SAD in many Americans:

  • You’re off your rhythm. The decreased sunlight can throw off your circadian rhythm, disrupting your body’s internal clock and leading to feelings of depression.
  • You’re off balance. The changing of seasons can disrupt the balance of your body’s levels of both serotonin and melatonin. Serotonin is a brain chemical (or neurotransmitter) that affects your mood. Melatonin is a hormone that plays a role in both your sleep patterns and mood.
  • Where you live. Living too far north or south of the equator can cause SAD due to decreased sunlight during colder months and longer days during warmer months.
  • Previous mental conditions. Having both a family history of depression and a current diagnosis of depression will increase your risk of SAD.


Asking for support

If you are feeling down a lot more frequently or not finding joy in the activities you usually love, you might want to consider seeing your doctor or mental health professional. Especially if you’re losing sleep or your appetite, turning to alcohol, or feeling hopeless.

Coping with SAD

In addition to treatment plans recommended by your doctor or mental health professional, there are some techniques you can practice to take care of yourself this holiday season.

  • Reconnect with YOU. Practicing mind-body techniques like yoga, tai chi, meditation, and music or art therapy can help cope with SAD.
  • Let there be light! Make your home or office environment brighter by opening blinds or sitting closer to bright windows during the day.
  • Get some sun! Getting outside and soaking up the sun within two hours of getting up for the day can also help with SAD. Just don’t forget your SPF!
  • Reconnect with others. Connecting with those you enjoy being around, even if you’re feeling down, is a great way to find relief. They can provide you with support or even a good laugh to give you a boost!

Stay connected!

If there’s someone on your mind recently, why not get reconnected and check in with them? Whether it’s via Zoom, FaceTime, or even in person at a local coffee shop, take some time this week to connect with someone you care about!

Published on December 1, 2021
By Krysta Flores, National Manager of Online Learning

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