Do You Have the Winter Blues, or is It SAD?


This time of year means a time change, shorter days, and colder weather. For some people, the focus is on the holidays and breaking out favorite sweaters. For others, it brings on a bout of negative moods many call the winter blues, but it may be more than that. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a mood disorder that occurs annually and causes a real disruption for those who suffer from it. 

Signs of SAD

Some of the telltale signs of having SAD include:

  • Low energy levels
  • Fatigue
  • A change in sleep pattern
  • An increase or decrease in appetite
  • Feeling depressed 
  • Wanting to isolate

Making the Sun Part of Your Daily Routine

Look for ways to incorporate sunlight into your life. Get outside when the weather allows it, even just for a brisk daytime walk or sitting outside your home for thirty minutes. If you work from home, position your desk by a window, and keep the curtain open while you work. 

Sun lamps, also known as light therapy boxes, offer a mood boost. Sun lamps mimic natural light and can elevate serotonin and melatonin levels when used regularly. Place one on a desk or tabletop and reap the benefits to your mood and mental health.

Create a Routine of Staying Active 

Regular exercise helps combat SAD by increasing endorphins and serotonin. Typical exercise routines are beneficial to all, but you may also want to consider alternative options like signing up for a dance class, exploring yoga at home, or joining a gym with an indoor pool. 

When this time of year rolls around, it brings the time change, shorter days, and cold weather. Many people find they develop what feels like the winter blues each year. However, in some cases, this is actually a symptom of a more serious condition called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Changes in your emotions and routines such as wanting to isolate, sleeping more, a change in appetite, low energy, and a general feeling of depression can all indicate you have SAD. Valiant Living has experts skilled at treating mood disorders and can help you get your life back on track. We offer several options in our men-only facilities, including outpatient and residential programs. We treat co-occurring illnesses, including other mental health diagnoses and abuse of alcohol and drugs. Our Denver area treatment center is the perfect place to learn to manage your life and return home as a healthy version of yourself, ready to live a brighter future. Call us now at (303) 952-5035 for more information!