The topic of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a hot topic this time of year…
SAD is a depressive state that occurs seasonally, year after year, usually in the fall and winter.
If you suffer from SAD, you may feel perfectly normal during the spring and summer months, but starting around October or November, symptoms begin showing up…and they don’t go away until the spring…or even May here in Minnesota.
Because this type of depression comes and goes with the seasons, you may wonder if it is all in your head…
This is a real condition and can have a devastating impact on your life.
SAD will often manifest itself as feelings of sadness or depression. You may feel as though you cannot get enough sleep—struggling to get out of the bed in the morning, feeling drowsy during the day and going to bed earlier than you usually do.
Your energy and concentration may also run low, and this can affect your productivity at work and at home. Of course, not having the energy to ‘get things done,’ only leads to frustration and more feelings of depression.
You may also notice weight gain. Typically, SAD sufferers will crave foods high in carbohydrates and can gain between 9 and 30 pounds each year.
Finally, your social life may suffer. If you are depressed, you just won’t enjoy being around others as much as you used to. This can turn into social withdrawal which makes your feelings of depression and sadness even worse.
There are a few different ways to combat SAD including light therapy, dawn simulators, and, of course, regular exercise.
In addition, there’s a nutritional supplement that can help…
Vitamin D, a.k.a “The Sunshine Vitamin” is produced by your body when exposed to sunlight. In fact, just 20-30 minutes of sunlight will produce 10,000 – 50,000 IUs of Vitamin D.
Why is this important?
Vitamin D is actually a hormone that has important roles in supporting mood & mental health, as well as a supporting a healthy heart, cellular replication, immune system, muscles, blood sugar levels, and more!*
Unfortunately, daily sunshine isn’t always available and higher levels of stress can deplete Vitamin D levels.
My Minnesota friends will be interested to know – a winter study of Allina employees found 60 percent had low Vitamin D levels, 30 percent were very low and 6 percent were profoundly low.
I’ve heard other stats as high as 94%!
As a matter of fact, people who live at latitudes above 37 degrees north (the shaded area in the image below) make little, if any, vitamin D from the sun for nearly half the year in (our fall and winter months). Other than the season, factors that influence synthesis and UV exposure include the length of day, cloud cover, smog, skin melanin content, pollution, and sunscreen.
SAD is no joke. It definitely affects a lot of people…including ME on a small level.
And, even if you don’t suffer from SAD, you may still be suffering from Vitamin D deficiency…
There’s evidence that adults and children are not getting enough Vitamin D even if they live in a sunny climate!
During the fall and winter months, I will continue to nourish my body and my mind with a little extra support from Eniva’s Vitamin D3.
If you have any questions about eating, exercising, and/or supplementing for SAD please reach out and let me know how I can help.
HAVE FAITH & TAKE ACTION!
P.S. – To help you support your Vitamin D levels, I suggest you supplement with liquid Vitamin D3 from Eniva Health. You can order it here or stop by the Transformation Club.