News for the Winter Blues
By Kelli Beaucage
would have thought that a change in the seasons
could affect your mood? As strange as this may
seem, the "winter blues" affects hundreds
of thousands of people. Also called Seasonal
Affective Disorder (SAD), the further you live
from the equator, the more likely you will suffer
from this malady. Women over the age of thirty
are more likely to be affected.
realized how widespread SAD was until I started noticing
how many people became listless in the winter months. When
a friend complained that that all she wanted to do was "sleep
all day", my curiosity was aroused and I decided to
that doctors attribute a lack of light as the number one
cause of SAD. That would explain why SAD is far more common
in colder climates. The main symptoms are depression, sleep
disorders and lethargy, though some people also suffer joint
pain and lowered resistance to infection.
reveal that light stimulates profound biological changes
in the brain cells. Light actually functions as a nutrient
to the brain, especially to the important glands that control
hormone and chemical secretions in the body.
surprisingly, light therapy is the most popular treatment
for SAD sufferers. Studies have found that simply sitting
under a light for half an hour each day can noticeably improve
your mood. That's why a morning walk in the sunshine can
I thought about the effectiveness of light therapy in combating
the symptoms of SAD, I was reminded of another form of light
that also does wonders for combating depression.
Bible tells us that "God is light", and that in
God's presence there is "fullness of joy." I am
thoroughly convinced we need more than sunlight to feel
our best - we also need the spiritual light that comes from
spending time in God's presence on a daily basis. He is
the greatest mood lifter I know!
suffer from the winter blues, try going for a daily walk.
And be sure to take time each day to spend with God.
Beaucage is a freelance writer and ordained
minister. She and her husband, Leonard, pastor
a church in SADkatchewan, Canada. If you would
like to interact with her about this article,
you know God personally? Read:
Peace with God