I was just thinking about climbing under a cozy afghan and waiting for winter to melt into spring…
Are you feeling down in the dumps and you just can’t muster the energy to climb out? Do you have an overwhelming urge to hibernate? Are you unusually tired even though you might be sleeping more? Maybe you’re craving more sweet or starchy foods or gaining weight. Are you more irritable? If so you may be one of the many around the world that suffer from SAD, seasonal affective disorder.
Caused by a lack of light this seasonal affective disorder (SAD) occurs mainly in the winter months when our exposure to sunlight diminishes with shorter days and more time spent inside. About 3% of people in Canada and the US experience SAD. In the UK around 2 million are affected and more than 12 million people across Northern Europe. It can affect people of any age, including children.
Studies have shown that light therapy, in various forms, is one of the effective treatments for SAD. Our bodies need sunlight. It is a necessary ingredient for our physical, mental and emotional well being. As with any disorder, you should see your doctor if you suspect you are a SAD sufferer.
Or maybe you’re just feeling blue. Winter blue, that is. You’re just not feeling quite right. You feel like you need more sleep. You’d rather spend time with Netflix than family or friends. And comfort foods are at the top of your grocery list. This arrival of low emotions is known as the “winter blues.”
About 15% people in Canada are affected by the “winter blues” (a milder form of SAD), with comparable numbers in the US, UK and Northern Europe.
The number of people who are just plain sad is much higher than 15%. Just look around you, you’ll see them everywhere. This type of sadness occurs year ‘round, often peaking during Christmas and summer holidays when relief is expected but not realized.
Broken relationships, the trap of financial pressures, bitterness, broken dreams, disillusionment and hopelessness are just some of the causes of this condition. Love, joy, peace and hope are what these people need. Do you know where they can find these remedies?
As with any disorder these people need to see the doctor—the Doctor of souls, Jesus Christ. The problem is they don’t know Him. They need Sonlight but they don’t know where to find it. Many don’t even know they need it.
Do you know Jesus? Does His Light shine through you? If each one of us who know Jesus befriends one person—a neighbour, friend, or co-worker—and through friendship show His love, joy, peace and hope, we would each be shining God’s Light on our world. I dare say many of us would also be given the opportunity to share the Son, Jesus, and His Good News. The number of people to shine His Light would increase. The Sonlight would expand, shining ever brighter and extinguish the bleak sadness.
There are many things that make us sad but as Jesus followers we know that situations are not hopeless. The Hope of the world is still at work. Jesus makes all things new. He sets the captive free. He is the Light of the world.
So, if you’re feeling SAD, seek your doctor’s advice. But, if you’re just plain sad, go to the Great Physician, seek His face. Warm yourself by His Light.
After all, it’s only His light that gives real joy. At least, that’s what I think.
Let’s journey together…