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seasonal affective disorder

As we approach the end of the long winter months and move into the spring; a new dawn brings brighter and more fruitful days. There can be a sense of engaging in survival mode to get through the winter and therefore a gentle waking up as spring blossoms.

 

Seasonal affective disorder is known as a depressive state relating to biochemical, physiological and somatic changes that occur in during the seasons (particularly, winter). A combination of increased melatonin and decreased serotonin leads to a spectrum of negative thoughts, feelings of fatigue and lethargy and emotional melancholy, as well as disruption to circadian rhythms. In the medical sense, this is a controversial topic however, from a eco-psychological perspective, the intricacies can be examined from a more holistic standpoint to establish the roots of the disorder.



Delving deeper into the roots of SAD requires an awareness of our perception and interaction with nature. The seasons and weather are intertwined with our emotional experiences and sensory perception. The light of the rising and setting sun may cause physiological changes but also, our interpretations of the seasons leads to behavioural change that culminate in our greater sense of self.


Dark mornings and darker nights, cold and blustery weather. The falling of the leaves and the rituals of hibernation. Winter becomes a time for deep rest, slowing down and re-energising. The days pass quickly and quietly but time moves slowly and towards the latter months, the winter months can evoke feelings of sadness and hopelessness that consume the small amounts of energy available to us. In the stillness though, there is space to notice. Attend to changes in the environment and in ourselves.



For those reasons, the soft glow of morning light peaking through the curtains each spring morning can provided a most welcomed relief from the tribulation of winter and induce an emotional restarting of systems. Positivity and motivation derived from drinking in the extended hours of daylight, signs of life and warmer climate can become a marker for emotional and behavioural change, to take on new challenges, get outwards and get inwards, learn, grow, explore, move, reflect and develop.

Bloom as the flora and fauna do alongside the seasons.

 

The seasons all have an equal place in nature, as do we.

Without the quiet and still, we would not notice the growth.


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