This time of year in Ontario, a lot of folks start experiencing signs and symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, as a result of the daylight savings that occurred a few weeks ago. The clocks went back an hour, which means that by 5pm, we are just about in complete darkness.
Seasonal Affective Disorder is actually a form of depression. It is affiliated with changes in seasons, and the majority of people who have it tend to find that their SAD worsens once fall begins and we roll into the winter months.
This makes sense to me considering the spring and summer seasons tend to be linked to the idea of regrowth, rejuvenation and starting again. Unlike winter, which for us Canadians typically brings things like frostbite, hypothermia and beavers riding polar bears while sipping on maple syrup to mind.
I’ve never been diagnosed with SAD, but I think I may have a very mild version of it. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I am depressed with it getting dark so early, but the prospect doesn’t exactly excite me. If anything, with it getting dark so early, I find myself running out of time to get outdoor jobs on the farm completed before I’m plunged into darkness which puts a bit of a dampener on my productivity.
There are a few methods of treatment designed to help combat the severity of SAD symptoms. Some examples include light therapy, or phototherapy; medication(s); psychotherapy, or talk therapy; and mind-body connection, some examples of this being meditation, guided imagery, relaxation techniques like yoga or tai chi, and music or art therapy, says mayoclinic.org.
There are all sorts of neat lights and other gadgets available for people who are hit hard by SAD and its influence on mood. Check out what might benefit you if you suffer from SAD in some health stores or online, and, as always, speak with your doctor before you make any serious changes or investments.