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When It’s More Than Winter Blues

Portrait of a senior afflicted with seasonal affective disorder.

The holidays are over, and days are dark and cold. While it’s typical to go through periods of mourning over the loss of the holiday craze or bright summer days, it’s concerning if these feelings persist for an extended period of time.
Seasonal affective disorder, which is something much more than the winter blues, is estimated to affect 10 million Americans.

What is SAD?

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a form of depression that occurs in cycles with the seasons, typically affecting people during the winter months. This is due to the decline in daylight and changes in circadian rhythms, causing hormonal changes and leading to depressive symptoms. SAD is especially prevalent in people who live in areas of ice and snow, since it is more difficult to spend quality time outdoors.

Symptoms of SAD include sleepiness and fatigue, withdrawing from social groups and routines, consistently feeling depressed, unintended weight fluctuation and difficulty concentrating.

If these feelings persist or seem overwhelming, talk to your healthcare professional. They may recommend treatments such as medication or a “light box” that helps to decrease the amount of melatonin in your body, which helps you feel less fatigued.

Along with professional treatment, there are a few things you can do for yourself to help subside the effects of SAD.

SAD Management Tips

Eat Right and Exercise: When it comes down to it, your diet and physical fitness routine critically impact your overall wellness. Be sure to keep a balanced diet, eating proper amounts of each food group, and include exercise into your daily schedule.

Spend Time with Loved Ones: Consistent social interactions keep you mentally sharp and your brain engaged. The connection and feeling of belonging boosts your mood and may even lead to a reduced risk of depression and anxiety. The more time we spend on social connections, the more we increase positive feelings of belonging and love.

Increase Your Vitamin D: Research shows that vitamin D plays an important role in physical and mental health. And, the National Institutes of Health recognized older adults as an at-risk group for vitamin D deficiency due to changes in diet and difficulty converting and absorbing the nutrient.

Learn More About the Fulfilling Lifestyle Offered at Springpoint Communities

At Springpoint continuing care retirement communities (CCRC), you’ll never be bored. Our senior living communities offer all that you need to live a vibrant lifestyle filled with activities and things you love the most. And, with maintenance-free living and an all-inclusive lifestyle, there’s no need to worry about the little things.

Contact us today to learn more and schedule your personal tour at one of our eight CCRCs.

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