Combat seasonal depression with yoga

Chilly nights and gloomy days are just around the corner as we prepare to change our clocks this weekend. Even though we gain an extra hour of sleep as we “fall back,” I think we can all agree that it sucks when daylight saving time ends. Suddenly, it’s dark before you even leave work and it’s too cold for many outdoor activities, meaning you have very little opportunity to get sunshine and vitamin D on weekdays. That’s why many people find themselves to be depressed or irritable during the winter months, thanks to a phenomenon called Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. Maybe you’re more easily agitated or you can’t find the energy to get out of bed in the morning, but no matter what brand of SAD you experience, know that you’re not alone.

SAD shows itself in a range of ways. Symptoms can include:

  • Lack of concentration

  • Depression

  • Hopelessness

  • Fatigue

  • Insomnia

  • Social isolation

  • Mood swings

  • Anxiety

  • Apathy

  • Change in appetite

If you assumed that you’re stuck with these winter blues and there’s nothing you can do to improve your mood throughout the winter, think again. Yoga can provide you with the energy, exercise and mindfulness needed to power through those frigid months. You don’t have to suffer until the snow melts in spring this year, if you make time to stretch, breathe deeply and activate muscle groups that have been as dormant as the trees.

Yoga can help you handle SAD in a holistic way, as it connects the mind and body to create internal harmony. From an emotional standpoint, you will find the balance necessary to stay levelheaded through breathing sequences, whether you’re struggling at work or with maintaining personal relationships. Physically, moving your body will activate endorphins and trigger serotonin production to provide the energy you need to squash that lethargy brought on by cold and dreary days.

Don’t forget to turn your clocks back this weekend, then sign up for an on-site yoga class with Chasing Nirvana Yoga to start your battle against SAD!