Happy New Year everyone! I hope you have had a relaxing and fulfilling holiday season, and are making a commitment again this year to be healthy and happy.
As the delicious leftovers begin to run out, and the relatives and friends all head back home, you may very likely realize a few things. First, is that you probably gained a few pounds thanks to all those treats! But not to worry, the blog has many resources to help you get back to a healthy weight. The other thing many of you may experience is that your mood has not been as positive as usual. This can be particularly bad right after the holidays, as you say goodbye to many people for another year, and work begins to pile up again.
If you feel this way, then you may be experiencing Seasonal Affective Disorder, or "SAD" for short. This disorder is characterized by a drop in mood, or even the development of depression symptoms, often beginning in the fall and continuing until the end of winter.
Experts are not entirely sure what causes SAD, but there seems to be a common theme found across the United States: the more sun your state gets, the lower the prevalence of SAD. So for sunny states like Florida, SAD affects less than 2% of the population. Whereas in states with a very long winter, like Alaska, SAD affects upwards of 10% of the population.
Doctors are beginning to use light therapy to help people with their SAD symptoms, but I think everyone who suffers from SAD should also make sure they exercise on a very regular schedule. As you all know, I am a huge proponent of treating mood issues with exercise. I always suggest adding one of my Mind-Body Prescriptions to complement the doctor's orders.
So to start this year off, I am going to put together a Mind-Body Prescription to help treat SAD symptoms and improve your mood this winter (and maybe even shed those holiday pounds).
Stay tuned to the blog, and Happy Stretching!
P.S. Our schedule for posting on the blog is going to be more relaxed going forward, so that my team and I can focus on other projects, including my new venture with Jeff Sirlin over at Cancer Wellness TV. If you aren't getting enough mind-body tips and exercises here on the blog, please make a free account over there and you will have access to many more of my Tai Chi and exercise videos.