Stress and the Four Seasons

Everywhere we turn there are occurrences that trigger stress. Not all stress is bad for us, and those instances where stress can be negative, it is how we handle our emotions that can get us feeling down. The medical world has created a name for the syndrome where changes in season can cause issues in humans – it is called SAD. Appropriately, it means Seasonal affective disorder. And it can happen during any of the four seasons.

 

Some people will become stressed and fretful when the leaves begin to change and the crisp air heralds the beginning of winter. Just the word winter can makes those sensitive to the cold and gray days begin to shiver. There can be physiological symptoms that can make the patient suffer a general malaise. Most of our Vitamin D comes from the sun, so those who do not see the sun for months on end can run the risk of a Vitamin D deficiency. However, something very simple like changing the type of lighting in the home or office can send this problem packing.

 

Quite a few people do suffer excess stress during the winter holidays. Those who are fortunate to have a close family and a strong support group can find themselves worrying about all the things they need to do to prepare the home for the holidays. There is extra decorating, cooking, baking, shopping, wrapping and social activities to incorporate into an already jam-packed life. However, for those with no family and no strong support group, the holidays are an extremely blue period. These people feel unloved and isolated and the last thing they want to do is intrude on someone else’s family time. In the spirit of giving, the ‘haves’ should seek out a ‘have-not’ and share a little kindness. In giving attention to the depressed person, the giver often forgets his or her own stress.

 

Believe it or not, there are some who are stressed by the onset of spring. Even though the weather becomes warmer, beautiful flowers bloom and the grass is as green as Ireland, this person is stressing because he or she knows that the debilitating seasonal allergies are right around the corner. A good allergy medicine and some talks with a specialist in mood disorders can help this person welcome each sunny day with a smile. Please let me  know if you feel you may have Seasonal affective disorder I am happy to speak with you.