Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD – Coping with the Winter blues
As the clocks go back and the days become shorter and the dark nights longer, seasonal affective disorder or feelings of lethargy or wanting to hibernate are common.
A lack of daylight has been scientifically proven to affect our mood. Feeling low and irritable are common emotions at this time of year. However there are some easy measures and good tips to overcome these feelings:-
- Take regular exercise – staying fit improves stress levels and enhances your mood. 30 minutes a day is recommended, joining a class or gym may provide useful motivation as the bad weather is often an excuse to miss out.
- A healthy diet – tucking into the occasional comfort food as the weather turns colder is normal, however maintaining a low fat and low sugar balanced diet with plenty of fruit and veg will provide essential defence against colds and viruses and give your energy a boost.
- Make an effort to socially interact – Rather than hibernating at home, ensure you plan regular visits with friends and family, or look at learning a new skill or interest, joining a club will give an opportunity to meet new people.
- It’s good to talk – if you are feeling low and the long dark evenings are getting your down, tell someone how you are feeling, research advocates the positive effect that this can have.
- Seek professional help – for some people the negative effects of winter can cause a form of depression, often referred to as Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. Research has shown that counselling and psychotherapy can improve emotional resilience and increase ability to cope with and overcome the symptoms of depression.
Therapy for seasonal affective disorder offers you a confidential and safe space, to talk with someone who is professional trained to listen and help you improve things.