SAD – it’s a real thing. And I’m not talking about the emotion of feeling sad. I’m taking about Seasonal Affective Disorder. Not everyone suffers from this condition, but most of the people that do live in an area that has season changes. I live in New England and if you haven’t lived here, you may not know how drastic the changes really are.
In New England, the weather changes are not only be the seasons, but also by day to day. It’s June and right now the temperature is in the low 60s. Most think that June is when the temperature starts to warm up. But unfortunately, Mother Nature has other things in mind this year. And what Mother Nature doesn’t realize is that people that live in New England that suffer from SAD are having a hard time this year.
I experience symptoms affiliated with SAD and have waves of emotion. Think of SAD as depression, yet it tends to only arise during the seasonal changes. I typically have the most of my symptoms in the winter, when it’s cold and dark most of the day. However, this year, my symptoms have come up more this year because of the constant changes in weather. One week it will in the 70s and 80s and then the week after it will be in the 50s and 60s and rainy. That change can throw people off their normal game, including me. So what do you do to counteract SAD?
I try to counteract my symptoms by not being alone. By being alone, you’re left to let your mind wander and think thoughts that may bring you down. Instead of being alone, make sure you have activities in your planner to keep you busy. Choose one event a weekend either with friends or in a new environment. Don’t overburden yourself, but make sure you have “fun” built into your schedule.
Meditation can also help you get through these tough times. I recommend using guided meditation because it will help you get into a positive head space. Guided meditation can range a wide variety of topics from stress relief to sleep to work environments. These meditations can range from 5-10 minutes and typically have a soft music playing in the background. I have been doing a short guided meditation in the mornings and I find the thoughts that enter my brain after are positive and get me ready for the day.
And don’t forget, the seasons pass and SAD will pass…in time. The symptoms you face may bring you down temporarily but there is light at the end of the tunnel. If your symptoms seem to be too hard for you to handle on your own, please see professional help from a therapist. They can help you work through these symptoms and help you live, not just pass through life.