This year has been one for the books, and the COVID-19 pandemic has a considerable effect on our holidays and how we spend them. Unlike past years, many older adults will not be able to spend the holidays with their loved ones, and this may be affecting your mood. So, is this gloomy mood due to this crazy year, or could it be something more?
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a form of depression that comes in cycles with the seasons. You may notice that you begin to feel less motivated, have a suppressed appetite, and don't engage with the things and people you love as much as you used to. As the days get colder and shorter, your circadian rhythms, or your internal clock telling you when to wake up and go to bed, get out of balance. In turn, this can affect your hormone regulation, which leads to the feelings associated with depression.
People who live farther away from the equator, and those with anxiety or bipolar disorder are more likely to be affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder than other individuals. If you have been feeling depressed and it has lasted for more than a few weeks, you may want to try taking some steps to combat this and speak to your doctor about additional options to help you feel better this winter season.