It’s not necessarily the cold. It’s not necessarily all the rain. It’s not necessarily the cloudiness or the fewer hours of daylight – It’s all of those combined. Winter is kind of a drag.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a real thing. According to the journal Psychiatry Advisor, it’s defined as a “recurring major depression with a seasonal pattern.”  As many as 10 percent of people have it, mostly women.

Symptoms include:

  • Continued depressed mood
  • Irritability
  • Feelings of despair
  • Lack of energy
  • Sleeping more than normal
  • Weight gain

There are several treatments the experts recommend for SAD, such as light therapy and anti-depressants. For most people, though, the symptoms of the “winter blues” are less severe and don’t require medical intervention.

I wouldn’t say I have seasonal depression, but my mood is greatly determined by the weather. You know, how you have a little extra skip in your step on a sunny, unusually warm February day. And with all the rain lately, well, I just want to nap.

I did a little research online, and for people like me, the experts recommend opening my blinds at home to let in extra light, aromatherapy (Yay! Another excuse to buy my favorite candles!) and vitamin D supplements. I can do that! Usually my online medical searches end with a diagnosis of a rare, untreatable medical condition. I also checked with a life coach, and she had some great, doable suggestions as well.

“If you feel like you just have a case of the winter blues, it can sometimes be mind over matter,” says Courtney Jackson, a life coach with The Excel Center, Goodwill Industry of Arkansas’s high school for adults. “Think happy thoughts. Put on bright colored clothing and fix yourself up. Our feelings and emotions can be tied to our thoughts, so if we can control our thoughts, we can control our emotions.”

Just keep thinking… “Spring is just around the corner,” and that means we’ll be complaining about the blazing heat and humidity in no time! Get your sunglasses and flip flops ready – our time is nearly here.