Holiday blues and winter funk, seasonal affect disorder (SAD), are both biological and situational in origin. Melatonin, the hormone which regulates sleep, body temperature and the release of other hormones, is produced during periods of darkness. People who experience SAD have high levels of melatonin which impacts mood and gives rise to depressive symptoms. These symptoms may begin in the fall and continue through the winter months sometimes lingering until spring. When the weather turns cold and days become shorter, activities move inside and we have less exposure to the sun. Phototherapy is a direct method to improve levels of melatonin. Pulling back heavy drapes, opening the home to natural light and getting outside, weather permitting, are natural ways to address melatonin levels. Changing light bulbs to full spectrum bulbs in existing lamps and fixtures in home and office may be sufficient to lift the funk. Phillips, Verilux and other companies offer full spectrum lighting options which can supplement exposure to natural light and will reduce the body’s production of Melatonin.

To be continued … next topic, “managing expectations”

One Response to How to Beat Holiday Blues and Winter Funk

  1. [...] How to beat the holiday blues and winter funk and How to manage expectations are great articles to review during this holiday season. I’ll be also posting a series of tips for the new year to break out of old patterns and truly start fresh in 2013.   If you enjoyed this article, please consider sharing it! [...]

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