Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal Affective Disorder, Acupuncture, Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC

Fall and winter months can be amazing! There's crisp weather, beautiful leaves, and the humidity is finally gone. But, with everything in life, there's always a downside and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is one of them during colder months of the year. Seasonal Affective Disorder is a type of depression that affects people who are further away from the equator during fall and winter months. There is less sunlight due to our morning hours starting later and our evening hours starting earlier.

On a typical work week, the sun is not shining in the sky upon awakening and the sun has gone down prior to leaving your super awesome job! Not getting enough sunlight not only causes Vitamin D deficiency, it can also lead to SAD and it affects more than 10 million Americans.

If you have had an increase in the following symptoms over the course of a few weeks, you may have Seasonal Affective Disorder.

  1. Fatique or lethargy
  2. Increased appetite/weight gain
  3. Indecisiveness
  4. Low libido
  5. Poor concentration
  6. Withdrawing from social settings
  7. Crying
  8. Irritation
  9. Low mood
  10. Increased stress

There's a few simple activities you can do that will help lower these symptoms. They're common sense, but most times they're overlooked. The first thing you should do is check your diet. Are you consuming too much sugar, drinking too much coffee, or not getting enough fresh foods throughout the day? Diet can play a huge role in your mood. Eat foods that will elevate you such as oranges, pineapple, or a fresh salad.

Exercising is always a good mood enhancer. It doesn't have to be vigorous, just a walk around the block will help! Being outdoors automatically releases your feel good endorphin hormones, which will in return reduce stress. Also, getting outside on your lunch break will ensure a little sunlight, even if the clouds have taken over the sky.

Of course, one of the greatest things you can do is get acupuncture. Weekly treatments, typically during the middle of the week (Wednesday or Thursday) will help you relieve stress and reduce sadness. The special point yin tang (the one I put right in the middle of both eyes) is a great mood 'lifter upper'. I use it for everyone! 

If you'd like to get through these upcoming colder months a little easier, start doing something for yourself now! I encourage you to put YOU first!!