Thursday, November 29, 2007

Getting Enough Light: The perils of SAD

As we head further into the "dark" part of the year, some people discover that their moods also get darker. As HSPs, I believe we are particularly susceptible to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) because we are so tuned in to our environments.

I used to live in the south (Texas), but now I live in northwestern Washington where the days are short in winter, and the sky is often cloudy. Although I much prefer the climate here, I am also very aware that it is darker than I was previously accustomed to.

If SAD affects you in an extreme way, light therapy might be the only way you can get relief. However, there are many HSPs who are just "mild sufferers."

I have found it very helpful to make a point of getting outside during daylight hours, even if the weather is yucky. I don't necessarily need direct sun (although that's a nice benefit), as long as I get some direct daylight. You may think you get "daylight" from sitting in your house, but it's not quite the same thing. If you work during all daylight hours, consider taking your lunch outside to eat... even if it's a bit chilly and nasty. If you have time (or get breaks) even a 15-minute brisk walk can be a great help.

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