Monday, March 25, 2013

Winter Blues

You may have noticed this blog has been a little scarce lately. It's due to the fact that I've been pretty uninspired to write. I enjoy writing mostly about my experiences and the the past couple of months my experiences have been on the ordinary side. This winter has not had very positive effects on my mood. I've found myself having more low days than up ones and although I have other events I am coping with I am blaming much of my occasional depression on the weather. 
I've been finding that on very cold, grey, windy days I just don't have the mental strength to feel positive. I feel down and my coping mechanisms take a hit. Then just when I least expect it, a few hours of sunlight or the feeling of a "warmer" temperature on my skin act as a natural mood booster. Nothing in me had changed but the simple fact of the sun shining was enough to restore positivity. 
What I am talking about is nothing new. I'm talking about seasonal depression , or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). According to the WebMD article I read on the subject one theory behind SAD is that due to the decreased sunlight in the winter the brain will produce a reduced amount of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that has a soothing and calming effect. The result of not enough serotonin being produced can be feelings of depression and fatigue. SAD is usually more common in women than in men and people experiencing this can feel out of sorts or irritable.  
I understand how much I need to be outside to feel whole. When I am outside I feel free, I feel like myself. So this winter, during my decreased ability to get outside, I have felt caged. I've felt caged physically so it has caged me mentally. During the few occasions this winter that it has been warm enough outside to take a nice walk, I jumped on the chance, and  felt grounded and centered from that simple act. So with all these facts in order I know that in the months to come my mood is going to be lifted by the sun and I'm very happy at that thought. I've got a few new adventures coming up so stay tuned for some more jovial reading as this winter passes us.