“Winter is coming.” Who doesn’t like these powerful words from the famous HBO series? All summer we’ve been chanting these words and now that winter’s here in Britain, it brings with it the most dreaded Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Lack of sunlight and the dreary weather trigger this disorder.
What is SAD?
SAD is a depression that is caused by long and harsh winters. Scientists have yet to find the reason behind this depression, but once triggered, the sufferer feels down, irritated, melancholic, lazy, sleeps a lot and eats lots of sugary stuff.
During winters in the great island, days go by without the sun showing up. This leads to disruptions in the production of hormones that control our sleep-wake cycles and maintain our mood.
The hormone that helps us sleep and wake up regularly is called Melatonin. For a SAD sufferer, the levels of this hormone increase resulting in the person sleeping a lot. Serotonin is the hormone that manages our mood and appetite. A person suffering from SAD would feel depressed because the level of serotonin is low. It’s not just the hormonal disturbance lack of daylight also leads to feeling sleepy and lethargic.
SAD is more of a spectrum. For some it can lead to intense depression, while others might not face any seasonal changes. And those who lie in the middle, random feelings of nostalgia and gloom might take over every once in a while.
Your Garden is your Companion!
When it comes to SAD, your garden is like a companion who distracts you from the worldly burdens. Tend to your plants and flowers and your mood would just start to elevate. Researchers have found a special type of soil that has mycobacterium vaccae – a soil bacterium – that can up your serotonin levels just by touching it.
Do not think you cannot have the perfect garden in winter. Compost and bark retailer, Compost Direct aspires to assist SAD sufferers, therefore, they’ve shared the following simple winter gardening tips:
Start before the harsh weather sets in. Reap the vegetables and fruits that you had planted in summer. Plant new veggies and herbs, especially the ones you’d need in your kitchen. Dig the soil and add fertilizers. Collect all the fallen leaves and debris and use it as compost. Make sure you’ve done all the tough work before winter comes. Buy small pots, and plant your favourite seasonal flowers and herbs in them, so that you can tend to the little pieces of your garden whenever you feel blue without having to go outdoors.