Faith & Inspiration

Good News for the Winter Blues

By Kelli Beaucage

Who would have thought that a change in the seasons could affect your mood? As strange as this may seem, the "winter blues" affects hundreds of thousands of people. Also called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), the further you live from the equator, the more likely you will suffer from this malady. Women over the age of thirty are more likely to be affected.

I never realized how widespread SAD was until I started noticing how many people became listless in the winter months. When a friend complained that that all she wanted to do was "sleep all day", my curiosity was aroused and I decided to investigate further.

I discovered that doctors attribute a lack of light as the number one cause of SAD. That would explain why SAD is far more common in colder climates. The main symptoms are depression, sleep disorders and lethargy, though some people also suffer joint pain and lowered resistance to infection.

Studies reveal that light stimulates profound biological changes in the brain cells. Light actually functions as a nutrient to the brain, especially to the important glands that control hormone and chemical secretions in the body.

Not surprisingly, light therapy is the most popular treatment for SAD sufferers. Studies have found that simply sitting under a light for half an hour each day can noticeably improve your mood. That's why a morning walk in the sunshine can do wonders.

When I thought about the effectiveness of light therapy in combating the symptoms of SAD, I was reminded of another form of light that also does wonders for combating depression.

The Bible tells us that "God is light", and that in God's presence there is "fullness of joy." I am thoroughly convinced we need more than sunlight to feel our best - we also need the spiritual light that comes from spending time in God's presence on a daily basis. He is the greatest mood lifter I know!

If you suffer from the winter blues, try going for a daily walk. And be sure to take time each day to spend with God.


Kelli Beaucage is a freelance writer and ordained minister. She and her husband, Leonard, pastor a church in SADkatchewan, Canada. If you would like to interact with her about this article, e-mail:

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