Volunteering can help with seasonal affective disorder

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BINGHAMTON (WBNG) — As the last of the leaves fall and the days get shorter it can be easy to find yourself feeling a little blue, but as it turns out it’s actually a fairly common condition called seasonal affective disorder.

“Your serotonin levels are less with the less sunlight you are getting so it’s really important to pay attention to that,” said Donna Parmer of the Mental Health Association of the Southern Tier.

“It is a condition– it’s considered a form of depression it occurs starting in the fall in through winter,” Parmer said.

So how can you combat those winter blues? Keep moving.

“The best way is through exercise, because exercise is good for everything you can also volunteer that will help you with your seasonal,” said Parmer.

For the team at Meals on Wheels, volunteering not only offers the opportunity to get out of the house, but also the opportunity to brighten someone else’s day as well.

“They sometimes don’t have anybody to talk to and I’m the only one when I talk to them in the winter time when it’s snowy and cold and slippery,” said Meals on Wheels volunteer Paul Kuhnle.

You can even make a difference in the the lives of some furry friends as well.

“It can make you feel good and feel like you’ve given back and besides, it’s always sunny at the humane society, it’s always shiny and the animals really appreciate our presence here,” said Karen Matson, executive director of the Broome County Humane Society.

Even when the skies are gray, the benefit is felt two fold.

“They look forward to having that happy face show up every once a day and say hi and just talk to them so I think it’s rewarding on both ends,” said Meals on Wheels volunteer Adam Griffis.

Both Meals on Wheels and the Humane Society are always looking for volunteers.

Jack Arpey

Jack Arpey

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