Health and the Holidays: Coping with Seasonal Affective Disorder


The holiday season is commonly described as “the most wonderful time of the year,” but that’s not the case for everyone. With shorter days and busy schedules, it is easy to start to feel stressed, overworked, worn out and even sad. Many Americans suffer from seasonal depression or Seasonal Affective Disorder which typically occurs during winter.

“Seasonal Affective Disorder occurs around the same time each year,” Stephanie Mallett, APRN said. “There are more than 3 million reported cases per year.”

Individuals may experience increased fatigue, lack of motivation, feeling of hopelessness, the desire to withdraw socially, appetite changes, lack of ability to concentrate and desire to sleep more or less. But the good news is that there are easy ways to combat seasonal depression.

Stephanie recommends exercise, light therapy and hobbies to those that may find themselves depressed this time of year.

“Find an exercise class that will get you out of the house and around other people,” Stephanie suggested. “If you can, go outside during the daytime and soak up the sunshine.”

If symptoms are affecting your ability to function on a daily basis, such as missing work or thoughts of self-harm, it is time to contact your primary care physician.

Stephanie Mallett, APRN, practices at NARMC’s Woman’s Health and Family Center alongside Rana Burnside, APRN. The center not only focuses on women’s healthcare, but also meets the needs of the entire family. Both are currently accepting new patients and can typically see a new patient the same day they call. For an appointment, call 870-741-0249.

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No information or content on this website is to be taken as implicit or explicit advice. Please contact a medical professional for guidance.

Photos on this website are provided by Vowell Publishing, Inc. and NARMC.