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Create a Life Worth Living
Brookhaven Retreat Blog - For inspiration, growth & a fresh perspective.
As the winter months are on us and daylight becomes shorter, many people can’t shake the feeling of sadness. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), also known as winter depression, affects more than 11 million Americans. Depression signs such as sluggishness, weight gain, food cravings and fatigue can occur when the lack of Vitamin D from sun exposure during the shorter daylight hours disrupts our sense of balance and our internal body clock.
The changing of the seasons doesn’t have to change our mood though. Try using the following tips to turn your winter season from SAD to GLAD.
G – Group Up
Get your group on! Gathering together with friends and family during the winter season can lift your spirits. Surrounding yourself with those you love and who love you can be a powerful antidepressant. Whether you join a group therapy session, host a get-together or just organize a group outing, there is power in numbers when combatting SAD. Let your people help you turn SAD to GLAD.
L - Laughter
We’ve all heard the phrase “laughter is the best medicine.” In the case of SAD, it truly is! Laughing with friends releases endorphins, which relieves pain and makes your brain feel good. According to a study published in the journal proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (scientificamerican.com), researchers found that the long series of exhalations that accompany true laughter cause physical exhaustion of the abdominal muscles and in turn, trigger endorphin release. This endorphin makes you feel happy. So, grab your friends and your favorite “Friends” episodes and laugh until your belly hurts during this winter season!
A – Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy uses essential oils to improve mood and overall health. Just as you light a scented candle or smell the first morning brew of coffee, your senses are awakened and uplifted; aromatherapy essential oils can do this and more. Using the correct essential oils can help improve sleep, enhance mood and overall improve a person’s quality of life. During this winter season, use your sense of smell with therapeutic aromatherapy oils to give you the gift of GLAD. Speaking of gifts, if you know someone who is prone to SAD, aromatherapy is a great uplifting gift to give.
D – Dance
Sometimes it helps to just get up and dance. Science has proven exercise lifts moods. Aerobic exercise strengthens both the body and the mind; and when you add the benefit of uplifting music, the power to enhance happiness grows. Zumba broke into the exercise world in recent years combining the power of music and the power of dance for gym exercising. If you’ve ever seen a Zumba class, you are hard pressed to find a joyless face in there – the release of energy through dance is a perfect antidote for the hopelessness of SAD. So put on your favorite music, stand up and start grooving this winter season.
We are GLAD you took the time to read this. This winter season, use these tools to get your GLAD on or help someone else turn feelings of SAD to GLAD.