Winter weather can take a toll on both your physical and mental well-being. For instance, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which can cause fatigue, anxiety, and depression, is a common issue this time of year. Anchorage’s annual Fur Rendezvous—also known as Fur Rondy—is a great way to beat the winter blues. The following explains how to identify SAD, as well as the benefit of doing outdoor activities, even when it’s cold outside.
What Is SAD?
SAD is a type of depressive disorder that occurs around the same time every year. While there is no definitive cause, many doctors believe that SAD is linked to the lack of sunlight available during the winter months. A lack of sun exposure may cause hormonal imbalances or dysfunction with the body’s internal biological clock, which regulates mood and sleep cycles.
SAD is characterized by both physical and emotional symptoms. They include trouble concentrating, a lack of interest in hobbies and pursuits, increased sleepiness, a heavy feeling in the limbs, weight gain, and general withdrawal from society. Symptoms usually resolve by spring, when sunlight is more plentiful.
How Can Fur Rondy Help?
Residents of Anchorage, AK, may experience the winter blues more often than others, due to its prolonged winter season that consists of short days and long nights. Originator Vern Johnson created the Fur Rondy festival way back in 1935 as a way to get locals out of the house for a few days, in spite of the cold weather. Early festivals featured bonfires, sporting events, and sled dog races for kids.
These days, Fur Rondy is a huge cultural event that’s garnered international attention. Attendees have an excuse to enjoy the physical benefits of being out in the sun, which provides the opportunity for your body to receive some much-needed vitamin D. This beloved event also offers an opportunity to socialize. Spending time with friends and family is a great mood booster, especially if you’ve been cooped up at home due to bad weather.
The team at Patients First Medical Clinic of Anchorage, AK, is invested in your physical and mental health, which is why these compassionate doctors encourage attendance to Fur Rondy each year in addition to providing quality health care. This primary care clinic offers a wide range of services, including diagnostic testing, women’s health services, urgent care, treatment of chronic illnesses, and routine exams and checkups. For more information about the practice, visit their website. You can also schedule an appointment by calling (907) 333-7425.