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Be Self-Care Aware!

With the holiday season coming up, it’s important to remember to take some time for yourself as days get colder and darker. Seasonal Affective Disorder (or SAD) affects people all over the globe when winter months set in, and with a pandemic causing extra stress, health experts urge extra awareness for mental well-being.

Dr. Norman Rosenthal moved to New York from South Africa in the 1980s and noticed sluggishness and depressed moods hit him when winter rolled around. As a psychologist, he deduced the reduced amount of natural light had caused his mood to shift with the seasons. He found that 1 in 20 people have SAD, with a higher SAD-seasonal-affective-disordertendency toward women to have the disorder. Wanting to go into “hibernation” or even feeling like a slower, more depressed version of yourself are some signs of this disorder (npr.org).

So What Can You Do?

According to Dr. Rosenthal, the best way to combat SAD is to get a Seasonal Affective Disorder Light, which is far more intense than indoor lighting and can increase moods in 2-3 weeks. Eating healthy foods full of vitamins and staying away from sweets and starches helps overall health and can prevent the tendency to overeat as a way to combat the sleepiness felt. Exercise or getting outside even if it’s cloudy gets the body into a rhythm that makes it easier to get up and be up if it’s dark out. Lastly, reducing stress is a key factor in preventing further symptoms of SAD. Which is easier said than done as COVID-19 numbers rise every day, but finding an activity or routine that helps keep things in perspective is incredibly important. With so many big events being cancelled, looking forward to small things can improve the mindset as well.
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It’s important to stay safe while also taking care of yourself mentally and emotionally. Fox Valley Dental cares about your overall well-being as well as the health of your teeth! Please practice COVID-19 safety precautions if any travel or visits to members outside of your immediate household are in the plans for the season.

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