Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which is an appropriate acronym, is when you tend to feel depression at certain times of the year, usually during winter. The world is so cold and gray paired with Vitamin D deficiency from too little sunlight, which makes some sensitive people struggle during the winter months. It has even been suggested we have adapted beyond the hibernation response for animals in winter months but still feel its effects. I get so crabby during the cold months. It’s so noticeable that when we do have a few days of unseasonable warm, sunny weather, I feel almost instantly better, like my head has been dark and foggy and someone finally opened some curtains and turned the light on. I think SAD is why I have such a hard time keeping myself motivated during winter. I get completely drained during the winter months. I don’t want to do anything that I generally like to do, such as running, cooking, cleaning (ok, so i don’t really like to do that, BUT it is 10 times more difficult to make myself do it in the winter), painting, writing, etc. In addition to decreased energy, another symptom of SAD is sleeping too much. During Christmas break, I was getting 10 and 12 hours of sleep a day easily. I am still sleeping too much on the weekends and often take long naps in the afternoon during the work week whenever I get a chance. This time of year, I always wonder if I’m showing signs of narcolepsy or have some other serious and undetected illness; I get so lethargic that I could believe it! As soon as the days start warming up and I get my sufficient doses of daily sunshine, I have instant energy and a mood boost. I want to run and garden and clean. I am biding my time until I feel like myself again. I’m tired of feeling SAD. I’m just tired.
Do you feel the effects of SAD each year?