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Beating the Hibernating Blues

By Stephen R. Farris

Have you ever wished you were born a bear? When wintertime hits each year, do you sometimes feel like hibernating? If you answered yes to these questions, you're not alone. Winter can be a depressing time of the year, with the days shortened and less available sunlight depending on where you live.

Many folks would rather hibernate like bears and set the alarm for spring. But for about 15 percent of the population -- possible it could include you? -- are probably suffering from a condition called Seasonal Affective Disorder, notably known as SAD.

What Are the Symptoms?

The symptoms range anywhere from sleeping longer but not having quality sleep, eating more because it feels good when we do, lack of concentration, antisocial behavior and lack of energy, to name a few. However, it's sometimes difficult to narrow down the symptoms since some of these may be how we are anyway.

Why Does It Happen?

Researchers are still uncertain, but feel it could be linked to an out-of-kilter biological clock, low levels of serotonin, or melatonin levels are unbalanced. It could be any combination of things.

What Can I Do Now?

Hopefully, you have some friends or relatives nearby who you could talk with. Tell them how you are feeling and why. If not, then check with your local church or community outreach organization to see if there are groups that could help in dealing with depression and sadness.

Tips You Can Try to Shake the Blues

Being in the dark all the time is not always a good thing. While it might help you get sleep at night, in the morning you need to open up those blinds and let the sunshine in. Get outside and enjoy the sunlight, keep in touch with family and friends on a daily basis. Change your diet to include more foods that will provide you with more energy. More importantly, stay away from junk food as much as possible. 

You might even try light therapy to break out of your funk. Your insurance company could cover the cost too. Depression and/or sadness can affect us more this time of year, so take heed of some of these warning signs and do everything possible to break away from those wintertime blues. Your body -- and probably your mind -- will thank you.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Danville, Calif.

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