Dr. Jennifer Chain is the President and Owner of Thrive for the People.
It's that time of the year again. The amount of daylight is decreasing every day. Here in Seattle, the clouds, rain, and cold have moved in. People who are sensitive to the effects of weather and sunlight may notice that their moods are significantly impacted by the change in season. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a common experience here in the Pacific Northwest due to our geographic distance from the equator. According to the American Psychiatric Association, SAD affects 5% of adults in the U.S. and can last on average 40% of the year. The changes in weather and sunlight can impact our brain chemistry and circadian rhythm, which controls our sleep, exercise, eating patterns, and mood. I used to struggle with SAD symptoms when I first moved to the Pacific Northwest nine years ago but I have created a winter routine of coping strategies that really works for me. In this blog post, I offer some ideas for preventing and coping with SAD symptoms.
I recently contributed to a Seattle Times article on happiness at work. The article was in response to the CNBC Workplace Happiness Index research. You can find out more about the original research here. In a nutshell, the CNBC researchers asked 8,664 professionals a series of questions about their satisfaction at work. The researchers looked at five different categories of satisfaction: meaning, autonomy, recognition, opportunity, and pay; and they combined them into a single factor called the Workplace Happiness Index. They concluded that happiness at work is a multi-dimensional and complex outcome. In addition to my contribution that was quoted in the article, I want to add a few more thoughts in this blog post about workplace happiness in general and about this study in particular.
We created this blog to share information about living a healthy, happy, and fulfilling life. We are constantly learning new things and making mistakes along the way. This blog is our way of chronicling our discoveries, musing, and lessons learned as people and professionals. We invite you to come along on our journey of self reflection, discovery, and thriving with challenges. We also hope to exchange wisdom and enlightenment from you, our readers.
The information provided in this blog is not a substitute for professional mental health treatment.