Monday, September 13, 2010

Don't get SAD

Ever since living in Japan, when in winter-time the sun set at about 4:30pm, I have noticed that I am very sensitive to the days lengthening and shortening. Like many people, my mood plummets in fall and perks back up again in spring. This is generally known as seasonal affective disorder, or SAD.

Two years ago when I was running (pre-back injury) and exercising like a fiend, it wasn't as bad as usual, but last year about mid-September I started noticing in my anxiety and sadness dramatically increasing in September, right when fall was setting in. So this year I'm hoping to be proactive by testing many homeopathic methods.

First of all I started exercising- mostly running in the mornings (for the light)- again at the beginning of August. I've also been adding fruits and vegetables to my diet and almost eliminating cokes. And I went down to half-caf coffee and have been drinking considerably less of it.

Then last week I finally got the light therapy box pictured below. I've heard of tons of people who swear by them, so I decided to give it a shot as well. I just have to sit in front of it for half an hour each morning. It also has a negative ion machine thing that is also supposed to help.

We'll see how that goes. Today was my first day and I felt really good all day, but there could be a lot of reasons for that I guess.

So all that to say that if you notice yourself getting winter blues, maybe it's time to do something about it rather than just suffering through it. And remember, the days will start getting longer again on December 21. :)

If you have any remedies or tips please feel free to share! I'm open to suggestions!


ComplyKated said...

I recommend a healthy dose of travel to a warm and bright location :)

Holly said...

It is such a hard time of year for so many people! that light thing looks cool. I have never seen one. But hey, this year mid-November you can get a glimpse of sunshine and happiness when you meet my baby girl!

ann said...

Both of those sound like excellent ideas. :)

Anonymous said...

I try to get outside for a little at mid-day. Today I ran 6K, but I appreciate that with back problems that is unlikely to be an option. A walk round a park would be a great way to spend a lunch break.