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Seasonal Affective Disorder: The Darkness AND The Light

To begin, Seasonal Affective Disorder is not a myth. In fact, there is too much information that is misconstrued to the general public. However, I hope this blog post will help to reveal some truth. The truth is Seasonal Affective Disorder is real and it can significantly affect one’s daily routine.

Seasonal Affective Disorder may be seen as a sub-type of depression because it is primarily due to [seasonal] changes. As Summer ends in September which leads us into

Fall. To be accurate, SAD can take effect between October and March so approximately a six month time period. The days become shorter reducing the amount of sunlight-sun exposure we receive. Our body requires Vitamin D to feel energized, renewed, and invigorated. Accordingly, Seasonal Affective Disorder can be compounded by unhealthy practices with both diet and exercise. It’s simply a phenomenon that the Sun can provide light as a resource as well as Vitamin-D, and a good supply of Vitamin-D can help

us in our pursuit for mental health wellness.

To the point, sometimes I feel like I am competing against the clock to keep my body well as I work through the seasonal changes. As it is October, I am using Centrum Silver providing added supplements that have helped me feel better—even added energy to finish out my day. I am choosing to eat more vegetables especially red, greed, and orange peppers. My orange juice intake is triple the recommend does-I like the taste! I am also working on a better sleep routine and actual strength training for exercise. As my family is involved in Fall Soccer I am planning to enroll in a martial arts studio. To me, I am content with this schedule to stay focused, well, and humble—keep active and feel productive—WIN THE DAY!

Seasonal Affective Disorder can feel debilitating due to the signs of fatigue, decrease in motivation, slow pace, deep sadness, hopelessness, and social withdrawal—all can create procrastination and affect one’s daily routine and personal hygiene. We often find ourselves problem-solving to find productive solutions.

In reference to providing Peer Support I would introduce work with my peer(s) to implement Wellness Tools and Action Plans to help coordinate a sense of self-fulfillment

— to conquer your day. It is not impossible but certainly a challenge. Perhaps some of us have experienced the Winter Blues and we can all acknowledge it is not fun.

Personally, I have come to practice hot coffee; hot tea; and watching the local news for

my satisfaction. I will also incorporate recreation-extracurricular activities to help: Change Recovery Environment; Throwing Darts; Practicing Soccer; Lifting Weights; Hot Shower; Word Search; Read a Book (based on my interests); Campfires; Mowing the Lawn; Talk to a Buddy; Movie Night {National Lounge Day: Erik Whisker, 2011).

Seasonal Affective Disorder holds a negative label to it but I like to re-write my story to Win-the-Day! It is okay to feel “not okay” but we need to observe those feelings and then know it is our responsibility to say, “I can do this, I will win my day!”


  1. Keep a consistent schedule for your day- a productive day is what you make it.

  2. Treat your body well: nutrition, exercise, and sleep.

  3. Use Wellness Tools: Walk, Shower, Hot Beverage, Art, Socialize; Movie; Church, Read, Write, Change Recovery Environment; Create a Recovery Garden; Find Healthy Supports; Practice Money Management; and Relax.

  4. The Action Plan is putting your Wellness Tools in action.

To conclude, Seasonal Affective Disorder is real but it is manageable. This presents an extra challenge however, let knowledge be power in how you succeed. Over time, I have experienced Seasonal Affective Disorder and once I noticed I did not feel well it was time to act.

Authored By:

Erik Whisker

(Certified Peer Support Specialist)

Disclaimer: The views and opinions herein are the sole responsibility of the individual author and do not represent the views or opinions of Peerstar, LLC.

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