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How to beat SAD

      Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) affects many teenagers during the winter season. People with SAD, lack of sunlight, and a problem with certain chemicals in the brain, prevents the hypothalamus working properly. The lack of light is thought to affect the production of the hormone, melatonin. This affects the production of the hormone serotonin. It can affect people of any age, including children.

      For those suffering, Hamburg Area High School offers many opportunities for students to seek help. Students are constantly passing RuOk signs that have contact information for them and their peers to reach out. Counseling is available through a therapy group called family guidance. This session happens throughout the school day. Students are pulled from class to go to therapy once a month. This is very helpful for those who need to speak up about their problems.

      Research has shown that a daily one-hour walk in the middle of the day could be as helpful as light treatment for coping with the winter blues. Go outdoors in natural daylight as much as possible, especially at midday and on brighter days. Inside the home, choose pale colors that reflect light from outside, and sit near windows whenever possible. A healthy diet boosts the mood, and gives more energy. It also helps to stop putting on weight over winter. Balancing cravings for carbohydrates, such as pasta and potatoes, with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.

      People with SAD are not alone. It has been shown that socializing is good for mental health and helps ward off the winter blues. Make an effort to keep in touch with people, accept any invitations to social events, even if it is only for a little while.

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