With the first day of winter comes longer nights and for some, the winter blues. If you are one of the thousands of Canadians that suffer from the change of season, you know that shopping can sometimes make you feel better. Don’t let the winter blues get you down because when the bills start arriving, that relief is short-lived.
What is SAD?
For some, the blues are more serious and might be diagnosed as Seasonal Affective Disorder – a form of depression related to the seasons. Most people have symptoms that begin in the fall and continue until the days become longer. Seasonal Affective Disorder is more common in areas that have very long nights or where there are wide, seasonal swings in the length of daylight hours. Whether you’re suffering from an actual case of seasonal affective disorder, or the weather’s just got you done, your bank account may eventually feel the effects.
The Blues and Your Bank Account
When you feel down, you eat more, sleep more, and shop more. Researchers have discovered that your moods have a huge influence on the way you shop—the worse you feel, the more you spend. Shopping to lift the spirits may help temporarily, but retail therapy has some serious side effects.
Coping with winter blues by shopping may leave you with credit cards charged to the max. It can also deplete your bank account, so you don’t have enough money left over for essentials like food or rent. When you’re already feeling under weather, you may not have the coping abilities needed to manage stressful financial situations, which can leave you in even worse financial shape.
How to Cope
Although no one knows exactly what causes it, Seasonal Affective Disorder is treatable. Sitting in front of a special, high-intensity lamp helps most SAD patients feel much better. Scientists are also investigating the use of vitamin D as an additional treatment.
If the winter blues has your budget down, it might be time to seek the help of a financial professional as well as a doctor. A licensed insolvency trustee does a lot more than make bankruptcy filings and may be able to help you get your finances back on track.
Don’t let the winter blues ruin your holiday or your budget. Don’t rack up debt, tuck your credit cards away until you are feeling better and follow the advice of your medical and financial professionals.