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Winter months in the Midwest are often cold and dark, and hazardous weather can limit the amount of time spent outdoors. During this time, symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) may emerge.
SAD is a type of depression related to the seasonal change from sunnier spring and summer months to fall and winter. Signs of SAD can come in a range of symptoms, including:
If you are experiencing symptoms of SAD, try these activities that can help combat them:
Simply moving your body can help prevent feelings of sluggishness and promote endorphins. In particular, try indoor activities that don’t require you to exercise outside, such as yoga, home exercise programs and stationary exercise equipment.
It’s easy to be a homebody in the winter, but interacting with others helps keep your mind engaged and lifts your spirits. Setting weekly gatherings with friends and family is also a great motivation to get out and about in the winter.
Although SAD is common, it should not be ignored. Be sure to take note of any changes in your mood to avoid the winter blues. If you experience more days with these symptoms than without them, it may be time to reach out to your Mercy Employee Assistance Program or primary care provider to learn more about how they can help.
Additionally, if you or someone you know is experiencing thoughts of suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.