For those of us living in the Anchorage area, winter means noticeably shorter days and longer, colder nights. For many people, this can mean onset of seasonal affective disorder (SAD). SAD is a type of depression that recurs seasonally, with its most severe symptoms occurring in the depth of winter. The disruption of circadian rhythms, as well as a drop in serotonin and melatonin levels, can lead to difficulty sleeping (or oversleeping), anxiety, fatigue, irritability, social withdrawal, hopelessness, and feelings of guilt or worthlessness. The disorder may be a fact of life for many people in Alaska, but there are ways to combat the syndrome. At Bagoy’s Flowers & Home, we believe in the power of flowers to combat sadness, and we have science on our side.
Studies have shown that flowers encourage an immediate improvement in happiness when they are received and displayed. This finding was nearly unanimous, across all demographics. Colors such as yellow, hot pink and orange are also considered to be effective in dispelling the blues, and to helping to elevate the mood. We have gorgeous floral designs that are sure to bring light and beauty into any space, and even have a special running all through January!
What are some other ways to fight SAD? Experts have these suggestions:
* Get into an exercise routine, as movement releases serotonin and dopamine. If you can;t get outside, use a treadmill or walk around the mall!
* Eat the right foods that encourage a sense of well-being. Sweet potatoes, fish, chicken, dark greens, berries and grains are recommended, and coffee seems to be a key to improved mood – although sugar works against your mood.
* By starting a winter project, you keep your mind focused and your body moving. Give a bedroom a makeover, clean out the junk drawers, or declutter your home and plan to donate the usable items you no longer need.
- As vitamin D levels dip in the winter (we receive vitamin D naturally from sunlight), consider a supplement to keep your levels at an optimum level through the short days.
- Buy a few hardy plants and flowers and keep them around your home. The greenery and color will help to increase a sense of well-being, also a scientific benefit of green plants.
As your neighbors in Anchorage, we understand that these days may be a bit challenging, and we know we can help. Stop into Bagoy’s Florist & Home for a few plants for your home, and don’t forget to pick up your fresh-cut flowers. Keep one bouquet for yourself and give one to a friend, and help us spread the happiness!