Tips for Working Through Seasonal Affective Disorder


Seasonal Affective Disorder is defined by the Mayo Clinic as “a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons and begins and ends at about the same time each year.”  Symptoms of SAD can include feelings of depression, loss of interest, changes in weight or appetite, difficulty sleeping, increased irritability, low energy, difficulty with concentration, and even suicidal ideation.  SAD generally begins in young adulthood and affects women more than men.  It also affects people living farther away from the equator, where there are shorter daylight hours during winter months.

Here are some mood boosting tips for people with Seasonal Affective Disorder, and/or general malaise related to diminished daylight hours:

1.) Try light therapy.  Evidently light therapy has been helping people with SAD combat depressive symptoms since the 1980s.  Light therapy is exactly what it sounds like…sitting under a bright light box (10,000 lux) daily for 30-45 minutes during winter months and generally in the morning hours.  These specialized light boxes are approximately 20 times brighter than normal indoor lights and are filtered of harmful UV rays, making it safe for most people.  (Note that people with certain eye diseases and/or people taking medications which make them sensitive to light should consult a doctor prior to use).

2.) Develop a mood boosting/energy activating yoga practice.  This is my favorite kriya series from 3HO called “Getting the Body Out of Distress”:  It only takes about 20 minutes, and if done daily, will help to build prana energy which can combat symptoms of depression.

3.)  Have vitamin D levels checked and if needed, supplement.  If supplementation is needed, do some research on the importance of taking K with D and how to do it safely.

4.)  Get outside, even when it’s cold.  Go for a hike, ride a bike, walk the dog, or go for a jog.  Many people shy away from being outside when it’s cold, however, nature is ingrained in the rhythmic patterned repetitive predictable patterns that humans need to be balance (think symbiosis between a humans release of CO2 and in take of O2, while nature releases O2 and in takes the CO2 released by humans).

5.)  Create a meditative practice, get some therapy, or practice Reiki (or treat yourself with a session).  Do what you can to clear the mind and not get attached to thoughts.  Too much thinking and not enough doing leads to both depression and anxiety.  Getting out of the mind, out of thought, puts us into the body or feeling state.  Through meditation, therapy, and/or Reiki, we can learn to change our feeling state and understand more about the things we can control, which leads to more empowering states of being, feeling, and thinking.

Have a wonder-filled Thursday!


*Photos Credit- Matthew Henry, Unsplash

Upcoming Events:

-Next Cacao ceremony Sunday January 9th from 4-5:30pm ($40/person), please RSVP through text, e-mail or the evite.  There are two spots available.
-Next Reiki I class will be in February (please contact me if you’re interested in registering)
-Next Reiki II class will be Saturday January 8th from 1-6pm and will include a light vegetarian dinner.  Please contact me ASAP to register as registration closes on December 15th.  (Must have taken Reiki I previously)  There are three more spots available for this class
-Next Reiki III/Master class starts in January.  Dates are TBD.  Please contact me to register.  (Must have taken both Reiki I and Reiki II)  There are two more spots available for this class.
-Next round of Munay Ki begins in March  (Please let me know if you’re interested).

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