Beat Seasonal Affective Disorder through Gardening


Summer’s gone and we are all waiting for those warm and lazy winter nights that seem to go on forever. While people around the globe long for the cosy winter feeling, most British people react to winters differently. The harsh weather and yearning for daylight lead to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?

As the names suggests, SAD is a depression that triggers seasonally. It is not yet clear as to why this depression occurs during the winter season, but its symptoms include depression, bad humour, lethargy, wanting to sleep more than usual and low levels of glucose in the body.

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Scientists believe that as the days are shorter in winter, exposure to sunlight is very little, which disturbs the production of melatonin and serotonin responsible for maintaining sleep-wake cycles and mood balance respectively.

When more melatonin is produced due to lack of sunlight, people sleep more. The more they sleep, the lazier they feel all day. SAD sufferers are believed to have low levels of serotonin, which is the main reason why they feel depressed and sad.

SAD is widely known to be a spectrum. Some people suffer from serious SAD symptoms during winter while others have no seasonal effects whatsoever. The ones in the middle may experience winter blues only.

Why Turn to your Garden?

Gardening has proven to be useful for SAD patients. Mycobacterium vaccae is a special kind of soil that can help improve the levels of serotonin in your body by only touching it.

While gardening is a summer hobby, you can get your hands dirty in winter too. No, you don’t have to leave the comfort of your home. How? Compost and bark retailer, Compost Direct wants to help Brits suffering from SAD. They have shared the following winter gardening tips:

Instead of waiting for the winter to start, prep your winter garden when autumn starts to show its colours. The weather would be milder and you’d have enough sunshine to work outdoors before the harsh weather begins.

Autumn is just the right time to dig the soil and add organic matter to it. Make sure you take care of your lawn and tidy it up before the cold winds start to blow. Collect the fruits and vegetables that you’ve planted in summer and plant more vegetables that you need often in your kitchen.

When winter is finally here, stay inside and take care of your indoor plants only. You can also plant some herbs in small pots and tend to them whenever you start to feel blue. It may seem little as compared to taking care of the whole, garden but it’ll be enough to keep you from feeling low.

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