• Cheryl C. Silvera

Seasonal Affective Disorder: Fall and Winter Blues. When the Seasonal Changes Affects Your Moods

Updated: Dec 19, 2021



Image: Sunset on a Beach in a tropical location. Water washed up to the shore and a few palm trees are visible in the background. Image by Wix Media.



Are you depressed in the Fall and Winter? Feel better in the Spring and Summer? Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), occurring during the late Fall to the summer period, can be a period of depression for some. How do you recognize and combat this feeling of low mood?


This form of depression is accompanied by:

• Hopelessness

• Increased appetite with weight gain (weight loss is more common with other forms of depression)

• Increased sleep (too little sleep is more common with other forms of depression)

• Less energy and ability to concentrate

• Loss of interest in work or other activities

• Sluggish movements

• Social withdrawal

• Unhappiness and irritability


Those at the most significant risk of SAD are female, younger population, those who live far from the equator, or those who have a family history of depression, bipolar disorder, or SAD. In addition to this, an especially vulnerable population at this time are seniors living alone, and those in Pandemic imposed isolation.


Doesn't it seem at times that we are echoing the words of Job when he exclaimed: “If my misery could be weighed, and my troubles be put on the scales, they would outweigh all the sands of the sea” (Job 6:2-3 NLT). There is hope! Recognizing the symptoms and understanding some simple remedies may lift you out of the winter blues.

According to MedlinePlus[1], symptoms may include:


Free tools to help beat the 'Blues'


Using the eight laws of health described below can effectively combat the ‘Blues’ and restore good mental health.


The eight laws of health incorporate Nutrition, Exercise, Water, Sunlight, Temperance, Fresh Air, Rest, and Trust in God.


Beginning with nutrition, we eat to fuel our bodies and to prevent diseases. We encourage you to eat a variety of fruits, nuts, and legumes along with seeds of all sorts. It is best to avoid animal products and limit fats and refined foods, including flour and sugar.


Load up on wholesome, unprocessed foods such as legumes, fruits, and vegetables: flax seeds, chia seeds, and walnuts for Omega 3s. Brown rice, nuts, bananas, peas, pumpkin, and spinach are good sources of tryptophan, which lift the mood and reduce stress.


Exercise is essential to the human body to engage all the muscles our wonderful creator has given us. Exercise builds the immune system and alleviates stress. Get at least 30 minutes of exercise per day.


Water is essential to the body for the elimination of toxins and to re-hydrate and relieve fatigue. Drink at least 6 to eight glasses per day.


Sunlight is a great restorer of moods and provides vitamin D that helps to stimulate the immune system and prevent diseases. Also, opening the drapes and lifting the blinds can do wonders in letting in the light. Capture the light with mirrors placed strategically around your home.


A strong case for mirrors' reflective benefits is the Norwegian mountain town[2] that installed giant mirrors to combat the winter blues for their valley abodes sheltered from the sun. The mirrors on the mountain reflected the sunlight down into the valley lifting the moods of the residents.


Light therapy, which mimics daylight, may be beneficial for you. Purchase a light therapy box and sit in its glow for about thirty minutes each morning as you worship. Light therapy boxes range from $30.00 to $100.00 can be found anywhere that sells light fixtures and lamps. Look for one of about 10,000 Lux LED Bright White Light.


Practice moderation in all things. Too much of a good thing is almost as bad a doing the wrong thing. That’s temperance.


Get enough fresh air by going outside when possible, opening windows, and flooding your system with oxygen. Deeply breathing in fresh air improves your sleep and gives you a sense of aliveness.


Rest is essential to restoring the equilibrium of the mind and body. Set sleep times appropriate for your age and occupation. Wake up at a set time, and form a natural lifestyle rhythm of your own that will give you adequate sleep to repair the body and mind. Aim for at least 8 hours of rest per night.


And above all, trust in God!


You Can Beat This!


Remember, you are not left alone. God has His eyes on You, and you are in His keeping. Take steps not to be derailed by our moods with our Savior and redeemer's coming so close. Let’s Marvel on God’s keeping of us with Job:


“What is mankind that you make so much of them, that you give them so much attention,


that you examine them every morning

and test them every moment?


Will you never look away from me,

or let me alone even for an instant?” (Job 7:17-19 NIV).



So, relax and enjoy the scene outside your window; go for a walk. And be wise in understanding seasons and moods.

[1] https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/001532.htm [2] http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/01/travel/rjukan-sun-mirror/index.html


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