SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) – Brief info (hopefully useful)

The time changed and all the kids at our son’s daycare were cranky. We already know that as adults we get cranky when the time changes and it gets darker sooner. But the kids also? Before winter really sets in and the darkness gets you down, take heed:

Can children experience seasonal affective disorder? http://long-island.newsday.com/kids/can-children-experience-seasonal-affective-disorder-1.6375351

General information from the National Alliance on Mental Illness on SAD: http://www.nami.org/Template.cfm?Section=By_Illness&Template=/TaggedPage/TaggedPageDisplay.cfm&TPLID=54&ContentID=23051

Five ways to beat seasonal depression: http://health.yahoo.net/rodale/PVN/5-ways-to-beat-seasonal-depression

Beating Winter Blues (5 Ways): http://www.wisebread.com/winter-blues-13-proven-ways-to-beat-seasonal-affective-disorder

My tips:

1. Be alert to signs and symptoms in yourself, your children, family, and friends – intervene early; call a mental health professional if needed.

2. Find ways to increase your energy level before the sun begins to set: run around while it is still light outside, exercise, drink plenty of water, etc.

3. Avoid the dark clothing colors of fall and winter – keep the spring colors out and visible on your body

4. Celebrate the sun setting by creating a fun ritual: make up a silly song with your kid(s), eat an energizing snack (banana) as the sun sets, create a way to say “bye-bye” to the sun and “hello” to the stars and moon

5. Keep a consistent schedule to avoid the night-time slump

6, Even thought some mental health experts do not believe that artificial light indoors helps, try some brighter lights – maybe use lights in different colors to mix it up and keep it fun and bright!

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