Exploring the Relationship: Seasonal Affective Disorder, Depressed Mood, and the Impact of Mindfulness

Exploring the Relationship: Seasonal Affective Disorder, Depressed Mood, and the Impact of Mindfulness

by Amanda Bickel

As we continue the winter season with the sun setting early we are on a journey through the changing seasons. Sometimes this transition can cast a shadow or mirror how we feel. 

Many people find this shift brings along a silent challenge – Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a type of depression that aligns with the changing weather. As the days are shorter we uncover a chance to explore how Seasonal Affective Disorder, depression, and mindfulness all interact. 

What is SAD and how does it impact us?

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is like a dance with depression that syncs up with the changing seasons. You might notice, as the days get shorter, symptoms of depression can increase. You may feel low on energy or have a lingering sense of sadness. Understanding this kind of seasonal back-and-forth helps in taking the first step in understanding how winter can affect our emotions. Mindfulness offers a powerful tool for navigating the emotional challenges associated with SAD and depression.

 Ways to Incorporate Mindfulness into Your life:

-Morning Mindfulness Moments: Start your day with a touch of mindfulness. Before leaping into the day’s chaos, spend a couple of minutes taking deep breaths, following a guided meditation, and appreciating the stillness of the morning.

-Digital Detox Moments: Schedule brief breaks from screen time. Use this time to engage in mindful activities, such as stretching and observing nature. This will help reduce the negative impact of digital stressors.

-Gratitude journaling: Keep a gratitude journal. Each day, write down a few things you’re thankful or grateful for. Focusing on positive aspects of your life can shift your perspective and enhance your overall well-being.

-Nature Connection: Spend time outdoors and connect with nature mindfully. Whether it’s a brief walk in a park, sitting by a window, or tending to indoor plants, let the natural world become a source of tranquility.

Mindfulness can become a reliable companion, offering support during moments when the weight of Seasonal Affective Disorder and depression may seem overwhelming. In the comforting presence of mindfulness, there’s an opportunity to create a sanctuary within yourself, a space where awareness and self-compassion thrive. As you continue to experience SAD through the rest of this winter and spring let mindfulness bring some comfort and remind yourself it is temporary. 

Picture courtesy of: https://www.tomorrowsworldtoday.com/nature/all-about-the-rocky-mountains-national-park/





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