We often hear about obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and other related chronic illnesses. The fight against these physical health issues is undeniably important, but what about mental health?

We tend to overlook the importance of mental well-being, forgetting that it has an effect on physical wellness. We must be especially conscious of this during the winter months. Although winter brings fun in the snow, it can also be dreary and cold. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) may come about as a result of the weather, causing slow movement and sluggish behavior. This form of depression occurs as a result of the change in season and can last through the winter.

SAD or not, it is important to be active and ensure a balance in your everyday life. Consider incorporating healthy, balancing practices into your workdays. Go on a walk during your lunch break. UV rays stimulate your body to make vitamin D and exercise causes your body to release endorphins, or “feel good hormones”. Set manageable goals and use your time wisely. If symptoms persist, seek professional advice, as SAD can be treated. Don’t let the cold get you down, take up a winter sport or schedule a fun activity with friends or family. These activities can help you not only survive, but enjoy the winter months!

Did You Know?

  • Severity of SAD depends on multiple factors including geography and vulnerability.
  • SAD is more common in those who live far north or south of the equator due to decreased sunlight during the winter months.
  • 3 out of 4 sufferers of SAD are women.
  • As seasons change, so do our biological clocks as a result of sunlight patterns.
  • Melatonin, which is produced at increased levels in the dark, is linked to the cause of SAD.

All about EAPs (Employee Assistance Programs)

EAP Programs can include, but are not limited to:

  1. Clinical support services: Resources and referrals, case management, and face to face counseling.
  2. Work-life services: Legal and financial counseling, childcare, eldercare, and parent and wellness coaching
  3. Management support services: Management trainings, professional development trainings, and crisis support.
  4. On-site education: Workshops, promotional events, and wellness events.
  5. Program management: Communication strategies, policy review, and creating customized programs.

Ask your Human Resources Department about your company’s EAP!

Sources: Mental Health America, Healthline, Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute of Mental Health, US Department of Health and Human Services, the Mayo Clinic, LifeWork Strategies EAP, and Adventist HealthCare. The Health Tip of the Week is for educational purposes only. For medical advice, consult your physician. Feel free to copy and distribute this health resource.