With the weight of a global pandemic and a change of the seasons, many Canadians around this time of year experience Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), also known as seasonal depression.
Seasonal depression usually occurs in the fall and winter. SAD can affect your mood, sleep, appetite, and energy levels.
James Hare, a professor in the science department at the University of Manitoba, specializes in Seasonal Affective Disorder in humans and dogs. Hare said a lack of outdoor activity is the most significant contributor to seasonal depression.
“With limited light exposure during the fall and winter months, it results in increased production of melatonin. Increased melatonin is accompanied by decreased serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that is often called the ‘feel-good hormone’,” Hare said. “This affects appetite, mood, and sleep.”
Hare recommends getting exercise, using light therapy, eating the right foods, and reaching out for help as a few ways of dealing with seasonal depression.
Here’s a look at some helpful tips to ease SAD symptoms: