Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Dark Time of the Year and S.A.D.

S.A.D. - Seasonal Affective Disorder  It's more common in Northern parts of the country that have decreased light during the long cold winters. Wait? Did I just describe this area?

Yes, I guess I did. When asked about the biggest challenge after moving to this area, hands down I always answer, "the lack of light in the fall and early winter.

I will never forget our first fall here. It seemed to be an endless cycle of one dark cloudy day after the next.

The moment that galvanized the fact that my brain was fighting hard to deal with the lack of sunshine was a single thought. It was my day off and I stepped outside to run some errands. I looked at the sky and mentally remarked to myself that it was a very pretty shade of grey. Then I immediately realized that we had had so many cloudy days in a row that I had begun to classify the shades of grey that I was experiencing!

That experience prompted me to think about our mornings as a family and how they had become less than pleasant. We were all suffering from lack of light! Being one to take action I decided to do what I could to combat this. I went out and purchased full spectrum light bulbs in the highest wattage I could get away with and placed them in strategic locations: Over our dining table, in the light fixtures in our livingroom where we spent the majority of our evenings, in our overhead kitchen fixture and the bathroom fixtures.

Since I was always the first to rise each morning, I got into the habit of adding some calming essential oils to the container we keep on top of our wood stove to add humidity to the air.

The results were no less than amazing over the next two weeks, so amazing that I continue this practice every fall and winter. (These days I diffuse a few drops of Swiss Just Anti Stress Activator oil)

I don't believe that any of my family would be diagnosed as having true S.A.D. and that is probably why my interventions were successful. If you try my interventions and continue to feel blue you should definitely speak with your health care provider.

You can find some good info on S.A.D. here.

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