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  • Writer's pictureMelissa Adkins

5 Ways the change of season is affecting your mental health

While fall and winter are amazing times of the year for some, not everyone feels the same. The change of seasons, the leaves turning beautiful hues, Halloween and Christmas around the corner, and the brisk wind waking us up in the morning can be the blast some people need, but others suffer from a serious condition known as Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. More than just the normal “winter blues,” SAD is a chemical imbalance that affects about 5% of the United States’ population. Read on to learn five ways the change of seasons can cause depression.

Daylight Savings Time

Our bodies and minds thrive in routine and a proper sleep schedule. This circadian rhythm helps our brain produce the chemicals during our sleep to keep us in a good mindset. The change in the daylight schedule can disrupt our normal sleep pattern and mood.

Lack of Sunlight

Our bodies rely on sunlight to produce the serotonin in our brains to keep our emotions and moods in check. Fall and Winter means a change in sunlight during our waking hours and this hampers our body’s natural production of vitamin D. One way to help with this is to take a vitamin D supplement during the winter months.

Family Stress

The Fall and Winter bring on major holidays spent with family. This may appear to be a positive thing for many, it also brings a lot of stress and feelings for some. Whether you have some strained relationships within your dynamic or possibly experienced loss, the holidays can bring these feelings and emotions to the forefront.

Monetary Stress

It is natural to feel the want to always have the latest and greatest things, and to keep up with our neighbors and those around us. These feelings are more prominent during the holiday season when companies are releasing new and updated models of their goods. Couple this with the need to get presents for loved ones and the stress can bring on significant feelings of anxiety and depression.

Weather-Related Stress

The change in seasons also brings changes to the weather. Hurricane season is in full swing and soon winter will bring snowstorms and ice. Each of these can bring thoughts or dangerous driving conditions, feelings of seclusion, and the added stress of potential property damage.

The changing seasons can affect our moods in many ways. Know that you are not alone in feeling down as the weather turns colder and the days get shorter. Couple this with holidays and it could be a recipe for serious depression. If you are feeling the effects of SAD, seek out professional help to get you through this time of year.

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