How art protects you from the winter blues

Engaging in a sociable, participatory arts practice can help stave off seasonal affective disorder.
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Formally described and named in 1984, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a form of depression triggered by the shorter days and gloomy weather of winter. While the specific triggers of SAD are unknown (and may include a drop in serotonin or melatonin levels caused by a lack of sunlight or even disrupted circadian rhythms) the condition is treatable, with light therapy – making up for the lack of exposure to sunlight – one of the key remedies for the condition.

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Richard Watts is ArtsHub's National Performing Arts Editor; he also presents the weekly program SmartArts on community radio station Three Triple R FM, and serves as the Chair of La Mama Theatre's volunteer Committee of Management. Richard is a life member of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, and was awarded the status of Melbourne Fringe Festival Living Legend in 2017. In 2019 he was awarded the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards' Facilitator's Prize. Most recently, Richard was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Green Room Awards Association in June 2021.

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