What is Seasonal Affective Disorder – SAD?
Season Affective Disorder (or SAD for short) is a medical condition defined by the Mayo Clinic in America as a form of depression that is directly affected by the changing seasons. It mostly affects us between autumn and winter as there is less sunlight/daylight and it is colder and darker, so we tend to stay indoors.
I believe that seasonal Affect Disorder is directly related to having a lower level of essential nutrients in our system. There can be many reasons for this, but let me give you just a few.
Why is Exposure to Sunlight so Important During Winter?
We have many systems in our body that help us to process some vitamins and minerals naturally as a result of being in the sunlight/daylight. Now there is a lot more information on this, but the one ‘take home’ piece of information is that safe exposure to sunlight every day can help our natural energy system to do its work every day.
One example of what exposure to the sun does for us is connected to the production and absorption of Vitamin D. Exposure to the sun boosts our production of vitamin D which generally happens as a result of our skin being exposed to the sun. The best time would be in the middle of the day when the sun is highest in the sky.
In winter time the sun is lower in the sky and it is much colder so we tend not to go out in shorts and sun tops. This means we have less skin exposed to the sun and perhaps a lot less time to be out in daylight hours.
Consider your working day. Where, in that day, can you find the time to get out and absorb some rays into your skin? As the days get shorter, the opportunities of getting sunlight are less and less.
Eating Processed Sugars and Trans-Fats doesn’t Help us in Winter
As our days get colder we also tend to seek ‘comfort foods’, foods that will keep us warm and insulated through the cold winter. Unfortunately, good wholesome foods are now being replaced with many processed ‘quick food’ options. Most of these ‘quick’ foods contain both processed sugar and trans fats – two things that put our body under stress!
What Happens When we are Under Stress in Winter
When we are under stress, be it from food or thoughts or our environment, our immune system lowers and then we are susceptible to viruses, bacteria and other pathogens that tend to thrive in the cold, damp atmosphere.
Putting this altogether, we have lees ability to produce and integrate our essential nutrients in Winter because we are not outside in the sunlight or daylight as much. We change our diet to hotter foods and can lean towards processed ‘fast foods’. If we don’t enhance our diet with good source nutritional supplements we will find ourselves suffering from things like Seasonal Affect Disorder and catching viruses or other pathogens.
Systematic Kinesiology can Help Overcome Winter Blues
As a kinesiologist I see lots of people who are simply lacking good nutrition. Once they get this into their system the world seems manageable again. Kinesiology uses muscle testing to find out what your body is lacking, then you can take this to boost your overall wellness.
The Kinesiology Practitioner can also check for any imbalances in your energy system that may be preventing you from living your best life and indeed absorbing the goodness from your food. They can help you create a plan that will bring you overall wellness. When we are well, we can manage stress better.
Then it’s up to you. I always tell clients that even though they Kinesiology Session is quite powerful and informative, it is only 10% of the overall experience. 90% is down to the client after they leave the Kinesiology room. Once we implement the insights we have been given, we are one our way to a better life.
Seasonal Affect Disorder – It’s All About Energy
I don’t see SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) as a form of depression? I see it as a natural and normal occurrence as a result of the changing seasons and lack of exposure to natural daylight. This natural process can be very difficult to cope with for those who are prone to stress related conditions like depression and anxiety.
We are energy beings and one of some millions of species on this planet. We are naturally connected to the ebb and flow of all life on this planet, including the seasons. Just as we need day and night for our natural bodily systems to work, we also need the seasons. It is natural for our vitamin D levels to rise in the late spring / summer months and for us to be more active during these months. It is also natural for the levels to fall in autumn and winter, but with our industrial revolution and our cars, heating systems, electricity, etc.. we are now more active in winter. For us to cope with this activity we need more essential nutrients to supply more energy, yet we are naturally depleting for what should be the ‘resting months’.
Self-Help is Key
We can help ourselves during winter by sourcing and taking good quality vitamin D. It can be found in salmon, mushrooms, egg yolk and some dairy products. If you are like me and are intolerant to dairy, you might need to consider taking a vitamin D3 or D2 supplement. Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin, best taken as an oil, poured over our breakfast before eating. Sometimes people need some vitamin K2 (also a fat soluble vitamin) to help them break down and absorb their vitamin D.
Don’t forget to Exercise in daylight, drink water and sleep!
Get out and Exercise too. By exercising in daylight we feed our glands especially the pineal gland which helps us regulate endorphins (happy hormones). Just a 30 minute walk is good. I also rebound because of the huge benefits this exercise brings.
Drinking water is vital for our hydration, especially when we have indoor heating systems on. We also need to keep our organs working effectively, especially the kidneys and what better way than drinking water. In the winter you might prefer to drink hot water with a slice of lemon in it.
Sleep, especially in winter, is one of the most important things we can do for ourselves. So make sure you get plenty of it, at night, and you turn off the electronics for a while before bed to allow your Brian to relax in preparation for sleep. The best sleep comes from being in a darkened room. Turn out the lights and allow your melatonin levels to sore while you sleep. All of these small changes can help to minimise the effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder.
My FaceBook Video
Check out my live video on Face Book on SAD and prepare yourself to be winter wise. Don’t think there will be any sun holidays this year to get us through the winter, so make sure you get outside during the day for some brisk exercise, either walking or running. Eat plenty of fruit and veg and try to rest more in the winter time, as the season encourages us to do with its darker and colder nights.
Another good idea is to book an appointment with a Systematic Kinesiologist or Wellness Coach either online or close by and find out exactly the best nutrition to help you manage and maintain wellness this winter. A Kinesiologist will also help you retune your whole being – body, mind and soul, enabling you to live through the winter with ease by minimising the effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder.
You can get WINTER WISE by contacting Nuala at firstname.lastname@example.org, through her website: retuningme.com or by clicking on any of the social media buttons on this page.