So, you're usually upbeat, jovial, and productive, which is why people desire to follow you as a leader. But you have noticed a pattern where you become sad around the winter months. You start to perceive that you aren't yourself as each day gets a little grayer without the vibrant sun rays that the summer and spring release.
You may be suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). According to the Mayo Clinic, SAD is a type of depression that's related to the changes in seasons. If you're like most people with SAD, your symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody. Symptoms may start out mild and become more severe as the season progresses.
According to WebMD, experts aren't sure what causes SAD. But they think it may be caused by a lack of sunlight. A lack of light may upset your "biological clock," which controls your sleep-wake pattern and other circadian rhythms. And a lack of light may cause problems with serotonin, a chemical in the brain that affects mood.
SAD can be very difficult for an entrepreneur because you must be on most of the time, and when you are sad (no pun intended) you simply can't pull it together. What makes this type of depression difficult to recognize or distinguish against others is that it cyclical; thus, it happens around the same time each year, and you may not be cognizant that you are depressed year-end and year-out. This is where journaling is powerful and helpful in tracking how you feel. You can actually see the pattern rather than just wondering whether you are experiencing SAD.
However, if you aren't sure what is causing you to feel the blues during these gray days, here are some symptoms:
- Heavy, "leaden" feeling in the arms or legs
- Irritability, sadness, grumpy, moody or anxious
- Oversleeping but still feeling tired with low energy
- Problems getting along with other people
- Hypersensitivity to rejection
- Noticeable weight gain
- Appetite changes, especially a craving for foods high in carbohydrates
If you know that you suffer from SAD or if you seem to have some of these symptoms, I suggest that you see a doctor. Here are a few other things you can do to help cope with the winter months:
Change your colors to change your mood
I recommend that you change the colors that you wear and that surround you. Colors in the red area of the color spectrum are known as warm colors. Try pictures or artwork in orange or yellow tones to uplift your mood. These warm colors evoke emotions such as feelings of warmth and comfort. Colors on the blue side of the spectrum are known as cool colors and include blue, purple and green. These colors are often described as calm, but can also call to mind feelings of sadness or indifference. So lean more towards the more vibrant hues. Try dressing up the dismal grey and black outfits with colors that make you feel better.
Change your scenery
When you are planning your vacation time, opt to go away around this time of year. What you are seeking is a place with plenty of sunshine to beat the cloudy gray days that accompany the winter months. If a week isn't possible to break away, try frequent weekend getaways to the many states that remain sunny during the winter months such as Florida, Southern California, Arizona, and others that will help you beat the blahs and possibly get away from the snow.
Shine a light on the situation
Try light therapy, which is a way to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) by exposure to artificial light that affects brain chemicals linked to mood. During light therapy, you sit or work near a device called a light therapy box. The box gives off bright light that mimics natural outdoor light. There are different types of lights and various sizes and intensity, so you should consult your doctor before purchasing one.