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S.A.D. at Work: How the Changing Seasons Affect Your Productivity


Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.) causes low energy and depression that affects our work productivity. There are things you can do to combat S.A.D.

(Photo Credit: starpinker/Flickr)

S.A.D. is a physical response to decreases in the amount of light during the fall and winter months. Therefore, people who live in northern climes may be more likely to suffer with symptoms. However, even people in relatively sunny climes may have the disorder.

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Mental Health

S.A.D. is a physiological condition, but it affects mental health. Depression, fatigue, and moodiness are some of the most common symptoms. People who suffer from S.A.D. may find they no longer have energy for things they usually enjoy, and their productivity at work goes down.

Work Productivity

If your boss expresses concern about your job performance in the fall or winter months, and you have no other explanation for why your productivity is declining, you may consider whether you are suffering from S.A.D.

If you have other symptoms such as more fatigue than usual but no change in your daily activities, or are feeling especially moody with no explanation, it is more likely that it may be S.A.D.


The Scoop San Diego offers general advice for people who are feeling the blahs and don’t feel like putting energy into working in the fall and winter months, including more exercise, making extra effort to engage in social activities, and eating a healthy diet. But if you have S.A.D., that may not be enough.

A light therapy box is a special lamp that people use for a short amount of time every day. The light produced by these lamps is a full-spectrum light that mimics the sun and gives the body the light it is craving. This is a common treatment for S.A.D.

Another option if you find your work and energy levels suffer in the fall and winter is to ask your doctor if you are getting enough vitamin D. A simple blood test may show you are lacking.

Tell Us What You Think

Do you feel depressed or lack energy in the winter? What do you about it? Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

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