by Catherine Denlinger, MSW, LSW
Director of Social Services
The GRAND of Dublin
Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD is a form of depression that typically occurs during the seasons changes, especially late fall through winter. SAD usually occurs in areas where there is little daylight in the winter and colder temperatures. It is often more common in women. SAD can affect your mood, food intake, energy level and sleep patterns. SAD is just not feeling the “winter blues” that a lot of us experience from time to time during the winter months. Some characteristics of SAD are oversleeping (by at least 2 hours daily), reduced social interaction, irritability, weight gain, increase carbohydrates intake, low energy.
Things that can help with having SAD
- Sit next to bright areas such as windows, lamps or even a light box.
- Get outside (weather permitting) to spend time in the sun. Mornings are best.
- Eat/drink the following in moderation, especially during the winter months: carbohydrates, caffeine and alcohol.
- Eat more turkey or other lean proteins, dairy products, egg whites as well as fruits. These foods can help to increase your serotonin levels.
- Drink herbal teas such as chamomile, cinnamon and peppermint teas.
- Exercise outside (walks or jogging) whenever possible.
- Stick with a sleep schedule.
Here at The GRAND, we are concerned with your mental and physical health. Our activities department offers a wide variety of daily programs to pique your interests and keep you active throughout the day. Our spacious center allows for exercise in our Main Street area or our numerous courtyards. Our social services department can offer support and encouragement, counseling referrals during your stay as well as connections with social services agencies upon discharge. Our team of devoted staff will help you with your care needs to promote your psychosocial well-being.
If you think you may have SAD, please see your physician. Some treatment options are mindful meditation, aromatherapy, yoga, tai chi, massage, light therapy, counseling and/or anti-depressant medication.
Happy Holidays from The GRAND