Travels

Seasonal Considerations

I love Belfast and am proud to be a resident of a wonderful city. I will share its glories to anyone who will listen. There is one small drawback. Some people experience winter affective disorder, also known as SAD. We share this problem with Finland, Iceland, Greenland, Sweden, and Norway. It shouldn’t keep you away however. The condition is short-lived and changes with the seasons. Thus, it is a matter of winter blues when you feel a bit down, lack energy, sleep too much, eat too much, have trouble focusing or maintaining interest in your normal life. It isn’t always dire and there are light machines that help you get the sunlight you are missing, and although it is artificial, it works. Only the super sensitive will not come in winter.

Interestingly, there is a reverse condition of SAD that happens in the summer months for those who live close to the equator. If you travel, looking into this topic may help you avoid the negative symptoms and keep your biological clock in tune while you are on the road. If you can regulate your serotonin and melatonin levels, you will enjoy renewed vigor and improved mood. Reverse SAD is less common, but it pays to learn a little about it which you can do here. While winter SAD is associated with a lack of sunlight, the summer version is caused by too much, which can affect melatonin production. It is exacerbated by the fact that people tend to stay up later from June to August. It throws one’s circadian rhythms for a loop. Not surprisingly, people who live in the warm southern US experience summer SAD more than those in the north.

Summertime sadness needs treatment as much as the winter blues. Depression and mood disorders must be addressed. Winter symptoms revolve around lack of energy while those of summer can bring on a manic episode. Changing the body temperature can help but the treatments are otherwise different for each modality of SAD. I am guessing that most people don’t know they have the summer version since more is known about the winter onset. I hope this blog helps those who have experienced the odd symptoms without knowing the root cause. As mentioned, it will affect your ability to travel at certain times during the year. SAD in either form is unlikely to keep you away from Belfast. We don’t have gray skies during peak tourist time nor too much darkness. It is pleasant most of the year

SAD is a treatable and rare condition so don’t fret too much if you have been given a diagnosis. Make sure you have a competent physician well versed in the illness. Solutions are available for any type including counseling. I really got into this issue quite by chance. I hope I have enlightened a few souls. If you are depressed and wanting an uplift, please come my way. Belfast has much to offer.