As the gloomy winter weather sets in and we find ourselves hibernating inside, it’s easy to get the winter blues – feeling cranky, claustrophobic, sleepy, and even depressed.
While it’s ok to be less than fond of snow, the intense form of this winter depression is known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Research shows that as many as 9.7% of Americans suffer from it!
Symptoms of SAD include sadness or anxiety, irritability, fatigue, binge-eating and lack of motivation. While this may sound very similar to depression, SAD symptoms appear only during the winter months and fade away in spring. The Canadian Mental Health Association says:
“SAD can be a debilitating condition, preventing sufferers from functioning normally. It may affect their personal and professional lives, and seriously limit their potential. It is important to learn about the symptoms, and to know that there is treatment to help people with SAD live a productive life year-round.”
–Canadian Mental health Association, Ontario Division
The good news is that staying happy in the winter doesn’t have to be difficult. There are a few simple things that you can do to keep a smile on your face.