Saturday, those clocks fell back an hour, ushering in earlier sunset times and as the winter rolls along, there will be a natural decrease in daylight.
Accompanying the decrease in daylight as the winter approaches is the annual seasonal affective disorder that plagues millions of people each year and is found to be much more common in women than in men.
Tony Kirkman is the Executive Director of the Piatt County Mental Health Center says the natural progression of winter in the midwest gradually limits the amount of outside activity we can participate in and forces us indoors.
To combat the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder like anxiety, apathy, loneliness, mood swings, and sadness, Kirkman encourages changing the lighting in your home. You can purchase special lights that emulate sunlight. Additionally, if you have access to it in your community, join a rec club or rec league.
Kirkman says when you give of your time through volunteering, it can be a humbling reminder of how blessed we are and how much we have.
He also points out that depression is something that can gradually eat away at us and he says it is important to have an accountability partner that would notice changes in you and can point those out and be there for support if you need it.
To get more information on the Piatt County Mental Health Center, contact them at 217-762-5371 or visit piattmhc.org.