Saying Goodbye to S.A.D.

bahamasBetween four and six percent of Americans suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder – S.A.D. A further 10 to 20 percent “may experience a mild form of winter-onset S.A.D.” According to the US National Library of Medicine, “some people experience a serious mood change when the seasons change. They may sleep too much, have little energy, and may also feel depressed. Though symptoms can be severe, they usually clear up.” So for those in New York who want to escape the winter blues, what better place to do it than the Bahamas?

A great place to go is between Christmas and News Years, which offers the vacationer the perfect climate.  Indeed, leaving New York’s dreary winter behind is not only good for those encountering any elements of S.A.D., but can be beneficial for anyone who likes a bit of sunshine, rest and relaxation. It’s also a good idea to go before the weather really gets bad as, according to meteorologist Jeff Smith, “some snow and a light mix of precipitation arrived in parts of the New York area ahead of much colder temperatures and gusty winds.”

The cold weather is known to have a negative impact on a lot of people. Being in the sunshine sometimes just makes things seem better, as it is actually brighter. Indeed, according to Laura Geggel, staff writer at LiveScience, “Cold temperatures can influence our thoughts and decisions without our even knowing it, experts have found…Hot and cold temperatures affect the way people judge others all of the time. For instance, compared with when a person is holding a cup of hot coffee, a person holding a cup of iced coffee tends to see others as interpersonally colder, according to a 2008 study in the journal ‘Science.’”

Of course, for those who need to do something even while they are relaxing, they can enjoy a whole slew of other health-enhancing activities in the near vicinity. One of these is swimming with dolphins which is actually used as a therapy in some places. Known as Dolphin Assisted Therapy (DAT), a 2005 study undertaken by a group of academics at the University of Leicester found that “symptoms improved more among this group [those swimming with dolphins than the others] who swam in the same area but did not interact with dolphins.”

So don’t let S.A.D take over your winter. Find a time to take a break. Enjoy your vacation in the Bahamas and soak up some sun!