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SAD Kit| seasonal affective disorder | Terezia Farkas | depression help | Beliefnet

Its autumn and daylight hours are getting shorter. Time to get your SAD Kit ready. What’s that? You don’t know what’s a SAD kit? Well, let me first explain SAD.

SAD

SAD is seasonal affective disorder. When seasons change, there’s a distinct shift in weather, temperature, and how much sunlight there is in a day. Researchers know that the amount of daylight available affects people’s mood. Not enough daylight and you can feel gloomy and become depressed. But genetics can also play a key role in determining if you will get SAD or not. Women are more likely to experience SAD. Adults are at higher risk for SAD than kids. The further north you live, the more likely you are to experience SAD.

Most people think SAD affects you the same way whether its fall or spring. But fall/winter SAD is different from spring/summer SAD.

Fall SAD symptoms usually are:

  • oversleeping
  • changes in appetite with an increased craving for sugars (like chocolates)
  • weight gain
  • tiredness or low energy

Spring SAD symptoms are:

  • trouble sleeping (insomnia)
  • poor appetite
  • weight loss
  • agitation or anxiety

Getting your Fall SAD Kit ready

A SAD kit contains everything, or almost everything, you will need to feel better. It’s an emergency kit that’s ready for use when you feel most vulnerable. It won’t contain everything you’ll use, but it will have enough things so that when you’re sluggish and depressed, all you have to do is reach for the kit. Make sure you keep the kit close at hand, or somewhere you know you’ll likely use it. I prefer by the head of my bed, so I can reach for it if I don’t feel like getting out of bed.

Most items of the SAD kit can fit into a bag. Find a nice, big tote bag. Decorate the outside with sparkles and bright colours if you are creative. Your SAD kit will contain gadgets and ideas to help you cope with depression, low energy, and problems sleeping. These items need to be things that make you feel good. So if you pack in a box of chocolates, don’t feel guilty! Chocolates are great emotion boosters so if you need one during fall, include it in your kit.

Some suggested SAD kit items:

  • A fragrance diffuser with your favourite essential oil.
  • A fragrant candle.
  • A light therapy lamp. It might not fit into your bag, but you can place the lamp where you will use it. 10 minutes of light therapy can improve your mood.
  • Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D. Vitamin D is known as the ‘sunshine vitamin’ because your body makes it by absorbing sunshine. When these Vitamins are low, mood is depressed.
  • Dark chocolate that’s rich in cocoa content. It’s not enough to just have any Hershey bar or tub of chocolate ice cream. The chocolate needs to have high cocoa content. High cocoa content gives your body an antioxidant boost, which is good for your body and improves mood.
  • Snuggly warm slippers. Warm feet can be just the comfort you need.
  • Skin moisturizer. During fall, skin becomes dry. Dry skin can cause irritability, which combined with your already low emotional state, will only make you feel worse. Moisturize with day and night cream.
  • Thermal temperature bag. Get one of those easy to warm up bags, which you can heat up in the microwave. You can feel better from a cozy warm bag heating your body.
  • Mini ipod loaded with your favourite music, or inspirational Native American flute, spiritual, or soothing nature sounds.
  • Bath bombs.
  • Wellness balms. Apply a dab on your temples, pulse points, and any aching spots.
  • Sage or rosemary twigs.

These are just some suggestions. Its up to you what you fill your SAD kit with. The important thing is to get one ready for when you need it.

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