Seasonal Rhythms: Being Mindful of Your Mood
The open ocean 🌊 has me thinking about one of my favorite topics: biological rhythms and seasonal affective disorder (SAD). 🥴
❄️ As we get closer to the cooler seasons, our moods will begin to change. As days get shorter and the nights get longer, you may start to feel a loss of energy, a loss of pleasure, inability to concentrate, and may even struggle with eating foods that you typically would not.
❓So why does this happen?
⏰ These feelings arise from disruptions in our circadian rhythms, or our biological daily rhythm/clock. This rhythm is affected by the amount of blue light entering the eye that stimulates cells in the retina, which then acts on the hypothalamus. WOAH, that’s a mouth full. But basically what this means is that the less light gets into our eyes 👀, the more SAD symptoms present themselves.
❓What can you do?
🏔 I’m from Colorado and I completely understand living somewhere that is freezing. It makes it difficult to get outside to get your sunlight in. For those of you in colder climates, consider purchasing a light box✨ that provides essential light to put your circadian rhythm on the right track.
🌴 Now that I live in San Diego, I understand how even the warmer states start to cool down and how it can impact the day – especially as it starts to get dark in the early evening. So for those in the warmer climates, even sitting outside on a cloudy day ☁️ can provide the light needed to sync your circadian rhythm back up. If clouds aren’t for you, a light box✨ is still a great option.
TIP: try to get your light in as soon as you wake up for at least 30 minutes each day. If light therapy just isn’t helping you, seek guidance from your PCP or mental health provider. In addition, try to stay as active as you can and focus on eating your vegetables and fruits!
Read more about the circadian rhythm on a previous blog, Our Internal Clock: The Brain on Sleep.