Every day we’re faced with reminders that the festive season is approaching. For many people, this time of year signals the start of a long period of winter where the mood is low, and the pressure to be happy and joyful leads to stress, anxiety, and even feeling depressed.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) affects 3 in every 100 people in the UK.
This type of depression/mood disorder is also known as the ‘winter blues’; the signs and symptoms of this seasonal pattern vary between individuals. From feeling low in energy to feeling irritable and wanting to hibernate, many different behaviours are associated with winter depression.
If this sounds familiar, and you think you could be experiencing the symptoms of SAD, finding ways to cope with SAD can help you make it through winter without. Take a look at the following suggested treatments for SAD that can help you get through this difficult time of year.
One of the key triggers for SAD is a lack of sunlight. The dark nights and short days can really impact your mood, making it difficult to feel motivated to do anything. Getting outside during the day can make a big difference, even if it’s just for a short walk or mild exercise. Remind yourself that it won’t last forever, those brighter days will be back again in the spring.
Invest in a SAD lamp
Light therapy can be very beneficial if you suffer from SAD; these lightbox lamps are a dawn simulation. There are special lamps that mimic natural sunlight to help people with SAD wake up in the morning, helping to get their day off to a better start.
Talk To Someone
Talking to someone about what you’re feeling can help lift your mood. You’ll often find that you know people who are experiencing the same feelings as you. By talking to someone, you can also give them an insight into what’s going on with you, in case you decide to cancel plans, or you’re a little more irritable than usual.
If you’re particularly concerned, you could also make an appointment with your GP or therapist. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) could help you learn to cope with SAD so that you’re better prepared for future years.
Find Your Balance – opt for quality meals
Taking care of yourself is important, especially during the winter months when your immune system can take a hit, and viruses spread more easily. A healthy, nutritious, and balanced diet is important to keep you energetic and happy. Choose your meals wisely and indulge yourself in mindful eating. Don’t forget to hydrate as well by drinking your tea or your favourite cinnamon-scented hot drink during those winter days!
While the winter months can be tough, it’s important to find ways to get yourself through them. Finding coping mechanisms and taking good care of yourself will help you stay healthy and keep your life on track.
Take care of yourself, stay positive, and remember that brighter days are just around the corner!
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