The entire month of December is dedicated to raising awareness for Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD. In the winter solstice, the days are shorter, we receive less light, the temperature drops, and our overall moods may be affected. There are all sorts of side effects that include daytime lethargy, irritability, weight gain, and withdraw from people. If you notice your senior loved one is experiencing some of these side effects he or she might be suffering from SAD. Luckily there are ways to fight it!
The best way to prevent SAD is to exercise. When you get the blood flowing and the heart pumping, your brain automatically releases serotonin, a chemical that helps regulate your mood. When you remain inactive for too long, the rest of your body tends to get lazy. Even your brain refuses to do all the important things it needs to do such as releasing important chemicals to balance your mood. There are a lot of good exercises you can do the help fight off SAD. However, it’s always best to consult with your doctor to make sure what exercises are right for you. Here are a few good examples:
- Distance Running
To make your exercise even more effective, try doing it outside. It’ll add some much needed sunlight to your daily routine. This extra sunlight also elevates the serotonin levels in your body.
See Your Doctor
Unfortunately, exercise is not a total brick wall when it comes to SAD. It’s still possible to feel its effects even after you exercise. If that’s the case, make sure you schedule an appointment with your primary physician. He or she will be able to map out the steps or discuss your treatment options with you in order to feel happy and enjoy life once again.
Outside factors can affect your mood, and no one should have to battle seasonal depression alone. Make sure you celebrate SAD Awareness Month properly. If you or your senior loved are feeling the “winter blues,” don’t ignore the symptoms. Start exercising, start getting some sun, and be proactive in the fight against SAD!
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