Manna Ko, creator of HuMannaTea®, and its purpose to be “All Together for Good”, attempts to demonstrate joy and happiness in her everyday life. Referred to as a “purpose professor™”, she promotes living an authentic, happy life full of compassion, thoughtfulness, and strength for the hard things in life.

Occasionally, even the happiest of people suffer from bad days, or life events that make feeling joyful more difficult. For some, it can be as simple as the change of seasons in the northern hemisphere.

Seasonal Affective Disorder, aptly named SAD, affects millions of people worldwide. It can cause depression-like feelings of hopelessness and lethargy, made worse by irregular sleep patterns and a sense of deep loneliness.

In the following article, Manna Ko discusses the cause and effect of seasonal affective disorder, studied remedies, and how to keep a positive outlook when suffering from SAD.

As the last few days of summer fade away, Manna Ko hopes that those affected by seasonal affective disorder can look toward winter as a positive experience with visions and plans to enjoy falling leaves, warm blankets, and holidays spent with family and friends.

Who Gets SAD

Manna Ko explains that SAD impacts various people from all over the world, but research has show that this disorder has been found to more likely to affect more women than men from the northern hemisphere than anywhere else.

Research also shows that people who suffer from bipolar disorder are at a greater risk for developing SAD, some with manic episodes, agitation, and irritability. People with bipolar SAD are also more likely to experience symptoms in spring and summer months as well.


Scientists readily admit that they do not know the exact cause of SAD and the link between depression and sunlight is a debated subject matter, but they do accept that it is a very real condition. People should not feel they have to suffer in silence according to Manna Ko.

Manna Ko says that there is a valid, researched link between sunlight and emotions, which is said to boost serotonin, the body’s “happy” hormone. Without the influx of serotonin, people tend to slump into low mood, depression, sleep more and have heightened anxiety.

Other findings are an overproduction of melatonin, the sleep hormone, that have been associated with the lack of sunlight. The overproduction of this hormone increases the feelings of sleepiness, in some cases, lethargy and feelings of sadness.

Reduction in vitamin D production has also been documented with decreased sunlight. Exposure to sunlight increases the body’s absorption of vitamin D, and lower levels of this vitamin can hinder serotonin production.

Remedies for SAD

Manna Ko reports that the good news is that while periods of low sunlight can last for as much as 40% of the year, this does not mean that SAD must be a condition they suffer with the entire time. Many have found ways that help them combat the symptoms, though they may feel powerless to do anything about the cause.

• Light Therapy

Doctors, psychologists, and those with personal experience of Seasonal Affective Disorder place great faith in light therapy, and it can be practiced in the home without having to see a specialist for an appointment.

Manna Ko says going outside in the fresh air even in the wintertime can really help with SAD symptoms. Throwing on a coat and stepping out of the office to soak up a few minutes of sunshine and taking more work breaks than usual can be just enough to keep the circadian rhythms in their rightful place.

However, there are some who buy light boxes and find that sitting with the box at around 16-30 inches away for just 20-30 minutes per day are thought to be enough to realign the circadian rhythms, but this must be a daily habit to be effective.

Manna Ko

• A Good Diet

Manna Ko says t’s easy to reach for the comfort foods during the winter months, but nutritionists advise keeping in mind how some foods can help boost mood and alleviate SAD symptoms.

This article is an excellent source for people looking to use diet to boost their mood. From serotonin-boosters like nuts, pineapple, and oily fish, to the suggestion that low mood can be caused by an iron deficiency, the article is a good one to bookmark for the winter season.

Supplementing a good diet with additional “feel good” vitamins like D, zinc, and iron can help realign the body’s regulatory mood system creating a happier, healthier individual.

• Be Social

It can be easy to withdraw and feel a craving for hibernation during the winter months but remaining in social contact with others is a vital part of getting through the seasonal dip. Manna Ko explains that social interactions lift mood, prevent boredom, and give people a sense of belonging, reminding them that they’re important to others.

This may mean meeting friends for board games, coffee, or frothy, warm drinks. Doctors do advise against drinking alcohol when struggling with SAD, as it can make symptoms more acute and bring mood down even further.

When to Seek Medical Advice

Manna Ko says that while SAD may be an annual occurrence, it may be wise to check with your licensed professional health practitioner. Those struggling with symptoms can try all the above but if they see no improvement, or are slipping deeper into depression, they should seek professional advice as soon as possible.

Talking therapies with a counselor, psychiatrist, or psychotherapist can help people manage the difficult winter months but continuing with therapy all year round can help with other underlying matters that make winter months more challenging to manage.

Ultimately, everyone is different, but the more doctors learn about SAD, and the more people who talk about it, the more understanding can be had around the disorder, and the more support channels open.

Categories: News