Washington State is so far north, it gets dark around 3:30 p.m. during the shortest daylight leading up to the Winter Solstice (December 21, 2019) . After that, daylight lengthens two minutes/day until the Summer Solstice in June (with sunset at 10 p.m.)
With Seasonal Affective Disorder from November-February, I lose my appetite and weight. Darn it. I know, that's the opposite of most people.
With a classic Ectomorph body type, I have a fast metabolism and find it hard to gain weight and muscle.
With all the hiking, I try to download more calories. Vanilla ice cream in coffee. Force down a few more bites. Popcorn before bed. Cook delicious food to stimulate the appetite.
Full spectrum light bulbs are helpful. More exercise helps, too.
What works for you?
I'm not sure if it's SAD, but I find this time of year tough. It makes me intensely homesick. The lack of light kills me. Moving from Sydney to Manchester is about equivalent to moving from LA to Edmonton in Canada, latitude-wise. 15 years in the UK, it still gets to me.
3:30 is really early for darkness to fall! It's 5:30 - 6:00 here so not too bad. I try to get outside as much as possible (even if it's dark) to excercise. If I can take a break during the day at work I like to get outside for a long walk in downtown Denver.
I maintain a cheerful disposition in the face of most blizzards as well (as pictured last week).
I have been diagnosed with SAD as well as dysthymia, meaning that my mood is generally skewed toward depression so that normal for me is slightly depressed for a normal person. It gets worse around this time of year, especially if the weather is rainy and cloudy. I am dealing with that very issue today. During my working life I worked in a secure facility that had no windows and often worked long hours, meaning that there were days this time of year when I never saw the sun at all.
Other than anti-depressants, which I try to avoid if I can, I have found that switching to "daylight" LED lights (as opposed to the "soft white" or fluorescent) can help. I also got a light box that I would set at my desk so that I would get extra light.
I wish I had your weight side-effect, though. I tend to gain weight when I am depressed. Or when I'm not. If depression made me lose weight I might get less depressed about it.
I make certain to get a walk in at lunch time. My appetite also goes down which is a good thing for me as I do have a weight issue. I try to eat as well as I can. I make a point of vitamins and minerals, take an extra vitamin C, and force myself to keep in touch with those that matter.
Great pic history of your life,,I usually gain weight over the winter but trying to keep it off,,do weights 3 times a week and doing some walking,,outside plus have started doing laps around inside of local Walmart 1000 steps for one lap,,about 7 to 8 min a lap,going to do at least 4 plus 3 days a week.. For me i get depression over the winter lack of light,,same light pattern as you,have change all house light bulds to the natural light led,s hope that helps this winter,,but if one is really busy and occupied it does help alleviate it
I have some symptoms of SAD, now that I’ve grown older. It mostly manifests as lethargy, particularly early in the season, just after we roll our clocks back and it’s dark when I get off of work. I “remedy” it—if you can call it that—by not fighting it. I’ll take a nap when I get tired, then roust myself and do my normal activities—cook, go out to listen to music and dance, see friends, research my favorite topics, etc. as the season wears on I acclimate and get my energy back.
Prozac is working quite well at the moment. I'm thinking and writing well mostly keeping on target. Flew through my American politics and passed. Amazed myself at coming top in EU politics pop quiz with 100%. So chemicals are doing some good for me. Usually I would eat too much and become static this time of year up here. We get dark around 14:45hrs mid winter. Sun up about 10:00.
When I was younger and had someone - sex, sex and lots more sex got me through.
My wife does. We've got the lights which help (6k, 96 cri, adjustable spectrum that is on for 6-8 hours a day and all other bulbs in the house full spectrum leds with crappy cri), but the main thing is to keep active, at least for her, at night so she doesn't crash at 6:30, 7 pm because it's been dark out for 3 hours already.