With the darker nights and mornings from the changing seasons, many of our moods can be affected. With sunlight being our main source of vitamin D, we struggle to get it from food alone, which is beneficial for bone growth and energy levels, which according to research can help our resistance to physical illness.
Here, with vitamin D3 suppliers Pharma Nord Ltd, we look at seasonal affective disorder and how we can help our kids who are affected by it.
What is SAD?
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression, defined as “depression associated with late autumn and winter and thought to be caused by lack of light”. A dark cloud above our heads caused, in some way, by dark clouds! It’s said to occur when your body’s internal clock and your brain and body’s chemicals all change.
It is estimated by the NHS that roughly one in 15 UK residents will feel the effects of SAD between September and April, with December, January, and February being the worst months for what people call the ‘winter blues’. The most common age group to suffer from SAD is those between 18 and 30 years old, with females the most likely to be affected, but it can begin at any age and to any gender.
What are the symptoms?
Do you think you, or someone close to you, is suffering from SAD, the most common symptoms to be aware of include:
- Sleep issues – normally oversleeping and struggling to stay awake
- Weakened immune system
- Increased anxiety
- Overeating – particularly carbohydrates and sweet foods
- Social issues, including withdrawal from social situations
- Loss of motivation
- Being lethargic
- A persistent low mood
- Lack of interest in activities which were previously enjoyable
SAD in children
Unfortunately, children can suffer from SAD — you may notice that their school work is slipping, they seem more irritable, and less likely to want to play. Remember, your child may not be able to realise they have this condition or tell you how they are feeling.
If you think your child suffers from SAD, the first port of call is to contact the doctor and make an appointment. This way, they will be able to thoroughly check your child over and rule out any other possible reasons for the symptoms they are experiencing. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommends that the condition should receive the same treatment as other types of depression.
Remember, this isn’t a behavioural problem but is in fact a brain chemistry issue. It’s important you are supportive and non-judgmental to aid recovery. Taking a little more time with them so they feel loved as well as being patient with them is also important to the treatment, as is eating healthy and maintaining a regular sleep pattern. By looking after their lifestyle habits, you will cut their stress levels which will help to ease the pressure faced from SAD.
For adults, SAD is sometimes treated using light therapy in severe cases. However, there’s no detailed evidence that this works and with side effects such as headaches, it’s not always recommended for children. Instead, try to ensure that your children are outside in natural sunlight when possible. If your child is put on antidepressants, make sure you are vigilant for any changes in behaviour and keep in regular contact with your doctor.
For additional help, consider supplements that improve health. Research in the area of vitamin D and depression is rapidly growing, with some studies highlighting a potential link between the two. Vitamin D is vital for general health including immunity, muscle function and bone density.
Dr Cindy Gellner, paediatrician, comments: “take their symptoms seriously. If your child has been diagnosed with SAD, talk about their feelings as they let you, and remind them that even though things may seem impossible right now, things will be better in the spring.”
As we’re responsible carers of children, make sure we keep an eye on any changes in their behaviour. If in doubt, seek medical attention.
New Baby On The Way? Save Money on the Essentials
Now is the ideal time to get clever with your cash. How much does it cost to have a new baby? The price varies from couple to couple but every survey tells us that most of us spend more than we really need to. Of course, you want your little one to have the very best but the reality is that as long as they are warm, clean and fed babies are usually quite happy with their lot. Far too many of us spend too much money at a time when cash will be tight anyway. Some people even get into debt using expensive credit cards or personal loans to buy what they want for their new baby when most of the stuff will be outgrown in a few weeks or months. So, when it comes to the essentials there are some simple ways to save some cash. Baby clothes: Avoid over-buying When Kylie Jenner gave birth to her daughter this year, a video the Keeping Up With The Kardashians star released on YouTube revealed an entire wardrobe of baby clothes and racks of shoes already purchased before the child had even arrived in the world. If you’re looking to keep costs down for your little one then steer clear of this approach. Babies grow so quickly that cute onesies and expensive little outfits will soon be redundant. Instead, buy just the basics and sell on what you don’t need when your baby has grown out of it. If you want to get a headstart researching the right pram for you, check out the reviews featured on wifeknows.com Your clothes: Steer clear of the maternity wardrobe binge It’s very easy to spend thousands on a maternity wardrobe, as there is such a range of choice these days. However, the reality is that you’re only going to wear these clothes for a matter of months so there’s no need to go crazy. Try to wear your own clothes for as long as you can, adding layers or opting for stretchy fabrics to provide coverage. It’s also worth asking friends and relatives if they have any maternity wear they no longer need so you don’t have to spend money on new items. New Baby Kit: Buy the basics for the first few months It’s tempting to kit your home out with all the latest gadgets and tech for a new arrival. However, the reality is that all you really need is a cot and a car seat for the first few months. You may not even need to buy a pram initially. So, rather than splurging up front and realising that half of what you’ve purchased you just don’t need, hold back. That way you’ll be able to make better informed buying decisions when it comes to something like a pram and have more time to find the cheapest options. Food and supplies: Become a deals expert From discounts on baby items through to the deals available at your local supermarket, this is a great time to get interested in what’s on special. There are always discounts available for new parents, whether you’re looking for toys or clothes or diapers. Spend a little time researching where to find the lowest prices on the things that you use the most of and you’ll be able to cut the costs during those first few months, not just of your newborn but of the cost of living too.
Keeping the Family Strong Through A Divorce
The statistics are stacked against marriages as the data shows that more than forty percent of marriages end up in divorce or separation. While that is a tragic data point, we must remember that life goes on.
This is even more true for the children that are a crucial part of the family and the eventual proceedings. The point of this simple guide is to look at how to stay positive and strong through a divorce and separation and how to make sure that the family can stay strong throughout the process.
It is undoubtedly a monumental feat, but it is quite possible and very necessary as it can help to maintain peace, prosperity, and general stability over the long-term. Let’s find out more about staying healthy, positive, and keeping it together for the long haul to ensure happiness and strength for everyone involved.
Staying Positive Amid a Divorce
The first point is that you must maintain a sense of peace and calm within yourself during these stressful and usually hectic divorce and separation times. Ideally, this event is not something you have had to deal with several times in your life, and it is a singular event.
But even then, if it is a singular event, it will be all the more impactful as you do not have much experience.
It is easier to stay strong throughout a divorce or separation, but it is much more difficult to do so due to the intricacies involved in the entire process. Remember that you are conducting the divorce proceedings for a number of reasons. The main reason is usually that neither people are happy with the partnership and choose to go in a different direction.
In that event, it is necessary to ensure that you dig deep down and comprehend that it is for the best overall. It may be hard to do so at first, but it is necessary. You must accept that it happened, and only then can you move forward into the future.
It is a normal aspect of the process for you to require some time to cope and come to terms with this significant change. But remember that you must stay vital for yourself and your children.
It is not only about you and your future but your children’s as well.
The Peace of the Children
It is easy to think about yourself during a divorce and forget about the collateral damage involved in the process. By collateral damage, I mean your kids.
Your children may spend countless hours screaming and misbehaving due to the issues that this brings in their lives. It is not just your life that is going through a sense of disruption but theirs as well.
Remember to have meetings with your children and to help them cope with the process. It is easy to lash out and be hard on your precious children for no reason, fight that urge, be a better parent.
Find peace by spending more time with your children for the sake of spending time with them. You want to make sure that you are healing the hurt feelings early on so that your family stays strong even with the adjustment.
The Strength of the Family
A strong, bonded, and hopeful family unit is still possible even during and after a separation. The process is not easy and will take work but will be quite worth it in the end.
Ensure that everyone in the process feels as if there is an anchor and that everything is not being ripped away from them. Show how life will be after the event and how it is possible to navigate through the turbulent period without too much angst.
Remember that there is a life after the event and think about the long-term during and after the process.
How to Organize Hand-Me-Down Clothes – Guest Blogger: Brittany Bullen
Brittany lives with her husband and three sons in Utah. She is a playwright, composer, actress, singer, thrift shop lover, Mormon and aspiring vegan. She is the founder of the International Bloggers Association, is a member of the Dramatists Guild, the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science and the Cognitive Behavioral Society (’cause why not). Brittany has a B.A. in English-Writing from Denison University and has an imaginary Ph.d. in Googling stuff she wants to know. You can keep up with her at BrittanyBullen.com.