This time of year many people are diagnosed with SAD (seasonal affective disorder). Below is how the Mayo Clinic describes this malady:
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons — SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year. If you’re like most people with SAD, your symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody. Less often, SAD causes depression in the spring or early summer.
I was really sympathizing with those who legitimately deal with this issue as I was relegated to the treadmill this morning due to rain. I have to admit that by this time of year I am yearning for Spring! Even though I don’t care much for Fall and Winter, I am fully aware that it’s my responsibility to get through these months maintaining my joy.
Philippians (The Message) 4:11-12 I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.
If you suspect that you are suffering with even a mild case of SAD, there are practical things you can do to help you through til Spring.
1. Phototherapy – The bright light emitted in phototherapy may act to readjust the body’s circadian (daily) rhythms, or internal clock. Other popular theories are that light triggers the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter believed to be related to depressive disorders, or that it influences the body’s production of melatonin, a hormone derived from serotonin that may be related to circadian rhythms. I know some people who have these lamps and they are convinced that they work! If you have a dog in your house, you will notice that they make an effort to lay in any available sun patch through out the course of the day. In the morning, I make it a habit to pray in a location where I can get a good amount of sunlight on my face. If you don’t have a phototherapy lamp, spend your quiet time in some good sunlight streaming through a window. An even better way to get sun is to just get outside and go for a walk/run/bike. Which brings us to number two.
2. Exercise – Livestrong.com explains: Serotonin is a brain chemical that helps move messages throughout the nervous system. This neurotransmitter performs many functions, including regulating mood, appetite and the sleep/wake cycle. Consuming certain foods helps stimulate the production of serotonin in the brain—and so does exercise. it is clear that aerobic exercise improves mood through increasing brain serotonin levels. Isn’t it interesting that good, old-fashioned exercise produces the same results as the lamp?
3. Thoughts – What are you thinking about? Our life is run by our thoughts. We must find good things to focus on during the seasons that are our least favorites.
Philippians 4:8-9The Message (MSG)
8-9 Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.
We all know this verse well, but are we living it? And last but certainly not least (it should be first):
4. Spending some time in the Word and prayer – There is no condemnation here. I know we all strive to do what we can in this area and usually have some guilt that we should be doing more. Do what you can and release the guilt…….it’s not from God. Communing with the one who made us definitely helps our mood!
There are plenty of reasons why God created different seasons so I am challenging you to embrace each season and find the praiseworthy attributes about it!
Genesis 1:14-15 God spoke: “Lights! Come out! Shine in Heaven’s sky! Separate Day from Night. Mark seasons and days and years, Lights in Heaven’s sky to give light to Earth.” And there it
What is your favorite season and why?
How do you stay positive during your least favorite season?
I would love to hear from you!