Born and raised in Montana, and I absolutely love it! We typically get to see all the seasons, even if it’s only for a short time!
Our summer this year was amazing! We barely had smoke from fires and the temperatures were perfect! The downside? Summer is never long enough! We got about 2 months of great weather, and now that September hit we have rain.
I love rain! I prefer spring rain, because that means cold and winter are almost over and summers coming! Fall rain through is much harder for me. It means summer has ended and the long cold months of winter are coming. Winter is my least favorite, because it reeks havoc on my anxiety.
Cold weather tends to keep me inside more, and this decline in physical activity can slow down your blood flow, which can lead to inflammation, which can cause depressive symptoms in the brain.
I find that colder temps, and shorter days make doing things in the winter that much more difficult. It’s easy for me to let this become depressive. I, not only have anxiety, but I also suffer from SAD.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a mental disorder characterized by depressive symptoms that occur at the same time every year. It’s easy for this condition to be swept under the rug because sufferers often think it’s a case of the “winter blues.”
Because I’m not one for going outdoors as often in the cold, I am not getting as much daily intake of vitamin D.
The body absorbs vitamin D when UVB rays come in contact with your skin, and those rays can’t penetrate the atmosphere as easily when the sun doesn’t rise as high in the sky during the winter months.
How does this relate to my anxiety? Vitamin D triggers the release of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin. Vitamin D receptors are also located in regions of the brain linked to depression. So the lack of sunlight exposure during the winter months can disrupt the body’s release of these neurotransmitters that are related to anxiety and depression.
So I’ve been doing some research on how to take control of my issues. Here are a few things I’ve found to help with anxiety and SAD this coming winter:
- Eating healthy
- Breathing (meditation)
- Light therapy
- Vitamin D
Do you, or someone you know, suffer from SAD? How do you, or they, manage?