CINCINNATI — While most people will be celebrating the extra hour of sleep this weekend as clocks fall back, some people might be affected by seasonal affective disorder, or SAD.
Changes in our circadian rhythm, the natural way our bodies and minds regulate sleep, can cause our levels of melatonin and seratonin to fluctuate, leaving some people feeling depressed. Throw in a pandemic and isolation, and people might be feeling the worse they have felt in years.
Some of the signs of seasonal depression include daytime fatigue, loss of interest in normal activities and craving foods high in carbohydrates or comfort foods.
Diane Mushaber, a clinical counselor for Tri-Health's employment assistance program, said she has seen a surge in cases of seasonal depression, but she has some tips to help stave off those feelings.
One suggestion is to get some sun. A dose of sunlight can increase Vitamin D production, which helps our seratonin levels.
A change in your environment can also help. And it doesn't have to be a drastic change either.
"Think about opening blinds during the day time," Mushaber said. "Move your desk closer to a window."
But if these feelings become too much, Mushaber said to seek professional help.
"We don't want these symptoms to go unchecked," she said.