Sunday, January 8, 2012

Cabin Fever?

Feeling more blue, cooped up, and sluggish around this time of year, but feel much better in spring and summer? It could be seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Symptoms include: loss of interest in your usual activities, feeling drowsy all the time, feeling sad, grumpy, moody, and craving carbohydrates. Lack of light upsets the sleep-wake cycle and other circadian rhythms. It may cause problems with a brain chemical called serotonin that affects mood.

Though this is coming from a self-diagnosed hypochondriac, I think this is what happens to me every winter!Throughout this whole week in St. Louis it's been warmer than usual. I'm talking like almost sixty degrees and sunny! It was really reminiscent of spring just going out walking, wearing a jacket instead of a coat. Of course with any issue experts say regular exercise can help you feel better. It immediately boosted my mood just being outside. Unfortunately, other treatment options involve sitting in front of a light for hours every day until the season changes called light therapy or taking antidepressants, which always has the risk factor of making symptoms worse.

Whelp, so far some simple mood boosters are:
  • Walking outdoors.
  • Keeping up with my tot.
  • Reading my bible and praying at quiet "me-times" when I can best reflect on things.
  • Vitamins, preferably vitamin D and fish oil for Omega 3.
  • Hugging more, because happiness is contagious.
  • Spending time with positive spirited people, like at church.
  • Staying hydrated.
  • Opening the window curtains during the day.
  • Not WebMD-ing yourself when you're a hypochondriac!

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