SAD (seasonal affective disorder) – or the winter blues – is a type of depression. Lasting sometimes until spring, it usually takes hold around autumn. As days get colder and shorter and the sunlight is more and more lacking, people may tend to feel low energy and/or sadness. Additionally, they may have the desire to isolate themselves, and their eating/sleeping habits may experience changes (they’ll frequently want to eat and sleep more).
Preventing seasonal affective disorder can help avoid the overwhelming and distressing symptoms that can interfere with daily function. This is particularly crucial for retirement-age individuals as they may already be prone to isolation, depression, loneliness, and more.
SAD: What Causes It?
The medical/technical cause of SAD, or seasonal affective disorder, is surprisingly brief. Less sunlight in winter, as well as shorter daylight hours, causes a biochemical imbalance in the brain which has been linked to SAD.
Seasonal affective disorder symptoms can include the following:
- Difficulty making decisions; trouble concentrating
- Feeling guilty or worthless
- Slowed speech and movements
- Pacing, handwringing, or some other restless activity
- Despite increased sleep hours, feeling more fatigued, or experiencing loss of energy
- Sleeping too much or other changes in sleep
- Appetite changes, include craving carbohydrates and/or eating more in general
- Distinct loss of interest in once-enjoyed activities or pleasurable experiences in general
- A depressed mood or feeling of sadness
- Attempts at suicide; or thoughts of suicide or death
How to Avoid SAD
To help anyone who may be in danger of experiencing SAD avoid it altogether, we’ve included some helpful tips:
- Manage your stress and try to focus on the positive. Take a bath or read a book, but do something that relaxes you.
- Even if it’s only for a few minutes, get outside. Sunshine and air can refresh and revitalize you.
- Though the season itself may be depressing you, embrace it and find positive aspects of it, rather than focusing on the negative.
- Rather than dwelling on things that depress you and being isolated, try to avoid both of these by creating and living by a schedule. If there are things you need to get done, get to them rather than come up with reasons to avoid them.
- Safely and healthily, try to socialize as much as possible. If, for health reasons, you must social distance, consider communicating with friends and family via the Internet, a chat session on your phone, text messaging, etc. Check on your friends and neighbors, as well, to boost their spirits.
- Every day, write in a journal regarding what you’re thankful for and what made you happy that day.
- Elevate your energy levels and mood through the winter months by maintaining a healthy, balanced diet and an appropriate level of exercise. Try to limit your intake of alcohol and/or caffeine.
Enjoy Community Activities and a Friendly Atmosphere Year-Round At Regency Pointe
It’s hard to feel sad or depressed when surrounded by the magnificently picturesque setting of rolling hills, natural wildflowers, and scenic forests found at Regency Pointe. What’s more, we try to make special occasions just that – particularly special. We feature community activities, dances, day trips, parties, and more to encourage socialization and the development of new friendships. Your loved one will never lack things to do while living in our community.
If your loved one would like to reside in a comfortable, carefree setting, look no further. Residents here enjoy beautiful apartment homes, chef-prepared meals, outstanding amenities, and the highest standard of services and care.
Schedule a tour to experience this enriching environment steeped in southern tradition. If you have questions, you can contact us at 256.456.0016. With sales and leasing inquiries, please call 256.269.1919.