Navy Wellness: Combatting Seasonal Depression

Navy Wellness: Combatting Seasonal Depression

Hello Navy Gang!

There is one thing our team honors and respects here at BrideNavy, and that's our mental health. We understand the ups and downs of life and not only do we give each other space when things are hard, we give each other space when things are happy. Having a workplace where boundaries are important, help success be immeasurable!

During this time of year, the time and the weather aren't the only things changing. Our mood and body language are changing as well. If we take a step back to see exactly how everything changes, we can see how seasonal depression can affect about 4 to 6 percent of people. Another 10 to 20 percent may have mild SAD. SAD is four times more common in women than in men (www.aafp.org).

Seasonal depression, also known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or the "winter blues," is a subtype of depression or bipolar disorder that occurs and ends around the same time every year.

Seasonal depression typically occurs when the seasons change and most symptoms begin in the fall and continue into the winter months. However, seasonal depression can occur in the summer or spring, although this is less common.

Even if you look at how your body language changes, the colder weather makes people turn their shoulders in more, make less eye contact, and puts people in a rush to go wherever they are. 

Navy Gang, we are going to look at the science of it all, and how to make sure we stay sailing this season.

Let's get our Bill Nye the Science Guy on:

So what causes Seasonal Depression? According to https://www.mhanational.org/ :

The reduced level of sunlight in the fall and winter months may affect an individual’s serotonin, a neurotransmitter that affects mood. Lower levels of serotonin have been shown to be linked to depression.

Melatonin, a sleep-related hormone secreted by the pineal gland in the brain, has been linked to seasonal depression. This hormone, which can affect sleep patterns and mood, is produced at increased levels in the dark. Therefore, when the days are shorter and darker the production of this hormone increases. Melatonin can also affect an individual's circadian rhythm, or "biological clock", resulting in ‘internal clocks’ being out of sync with ‘external clocks’, or the usual sleep/wake rhythms. 

Another factor to consider is the lack of social activity because its so cold outside! (burr)

So Navy Gang, how can we stay atop of cool waters and help those around us?

Research indoor activities and games

Have a game night or movie night with close friends and/or family. Have Sunday dinners. Have a Karaoke Night. Whatever you decide to do, do it with people you love and that love you.

Set Up Virtual Book Clubs or Happy Hours

Choose a book and read it with friends and family and meet once a week to discuss and chat! Or after work, hope on a video call and have a drink or two and talk!

Try Light Therapy

Light therapy—or phototherapy, classically referred to as heliotherapy—consists either of exposure to daylight or some equivalent form of light as a treatment for seasonal affective disorder! Amazon has so many options that are not too expensive!

Keep Healthy Food Options Around

Sugary treats and hearty plates are everywhere during this season. Make sure you keep some healthy options around!

Volunteer 

Volunteering really can help you out of a funk! Find a shelter or food assistance service and see how you can help.

Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is a holistic healing treatment that uses natural plant extracts to promote health and well-being. Sometimes it's called essential oil therapy. Aromatherapy uses aromatic essential oils medicinally to improve the health of the body, mind, and spirit. (Healthline)

Help yourself and help others this season!

Love,

The BrideNavy Team