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Are You Feeling the Winter Blues?

When the days get shorter and the nights longer, do you feel like your energy slips away? It's not just you! Many people feel down when winter rolls in. But what if it's more than just the "winter blues"?

What's Going On?:

This slump could be Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD for short. It's a type of depression that comes and goes with the seasons, usually starting in late fall and early winter. It's real and it affects lots of us, I personally have dealt with SAD the majority of my life - living in the midwest. Symptoms can include: feeling low, losing interest in things you usually like, and changes in sleep or appetite.

Why does this happen? Well, sunlight plays a huge role. It affects our internal clocks and the chemicals in our brain that dictate how we feel. When there's less light, these things get out of whack.

Let's Talk About Managing SAD:

One of the best ways I have found to kick SAD's butt? Running! It is true, lacing up those sneakers and hitting the pavement can work wonders. Here's why:

  • Natural Light: Running outside gives you that precious sunlight. Even on cloudy days, outdoor light can help.

  • Endorphin Boost: Exercise gets those feel-good chemicals hopping in your brain, which can lift your mood.

  • Rhythm and Routine: Having a regular running schedule can provide structure, which is super helpful when you're feeling down.

Remember, SAD is a seasonal visitor in our lives, but it doesn't have to overstay its welcome. With a pair of running shoes and the will to step out the door, you're already leading the race towards a brighter mood. Running is more than just a physical activity; it's a step towards taking control, a stride towards self-care, and a sprint away from the shadows of SAD.

You don't have to run a marathon. Don't rush it. Like any new habit, it starts with one step. Maybe today it's just a walk to the end of the street. Tomorrow, it could be around the block. Before you know it, you're welcoming the sunrise with a morning jog. Small steps lead to big changes.

Every time you get out there, you're winning. So, celebrate! Whether it's with a post-run smoothie or a high-five with your running buddy, acknowledge your effort. You're not just running from SAD; you're running towards joy, health, and a sense of achievement.

Running isn’t your thing?:

No worries. There are other ways to manage SAD:

SAD is tough, but you're tougher. 

With each step, each run, you're not just moving forward physically, but emotionally too. SAD doesn't define you. You define your path, your pace, and your progress.

So, let's tie those laces tight. Let's run with purpose. And let's greet each day, each season, with the courage to move, the strength to challenge SAD, and the joy of knowing that we're not alone on this journey.

Here's to brighter days ahead, both in the sky and in our spirits!


By Amy Arends

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