Seasonal Affective Disorder aka SAD

Kayla PearenPsychotherapy

“Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, is a type of depression that occurs during the same season each year. It is sometimes called winter depression or seasonal depression.”
(https://myhealth.alberta.ca/Health/Pages/conditions.aspx?hwid=hw169553)

You don’t have to be diagnosed with SAD to experience seasonal effects on your wellbeing. And not everyone who experiences depressive symptoms in the Fall/Winter months meets the criteria for a formal diagnosis of SAD. It is possible to have one, two, or more of these symptoms, which can loosely be referred to as the Fall/Winter Blues. Many people notice changes to their mood, sleep cycle, weight, or motivation during the colder and darker months of the year. This experience can feel quite hopeless since after all, we can’t change the pattern of the sun!! The good news is that there are ways you can take care of yourself if you’re experiencing the Fall/Winter blues. Have a read through the lists below to see if any of these tips are appealing to you!

Psychological & Physical
– Bring awareness to your experience – what changes have you noticed in yourself with the weather change?
– Practice self-kindness
– Set and follow through on goals
– Take good care of your body and mind
– Where possible, get outside during the day or spend time near a window
– Make rest & play a priority
– Consult with your doctor to see if there are any ways you can better support your physical health during the Fall and Winter months
– Get support from a mental health professional

Social
– Seek support and/or distraction as needed from friends, family members, or co-workers
– Follow positive, uplifting social media accounts that align with your values, and unfollow any accounts that do not serve you well
– Know when to say no to others, in order to take the best care of yourself
– Try to maintain your social habits – don’t hide away and hibernate, as tempting as it may be!

If you think you might be living with SAD, please contact us today to speak with one our mental health practitioners at 403-454-7600 or at info@serenitynowwellness.ca.