In this two-minute read, we look at how to ward off Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
Are you struggling with the dark days and long nights that kick in at this time of year? Don’t worry – you’re not alone.
Millions of Brits experience a dip in mood during the colder, greyer months, often referred to as the ‘Winter Blues’.
Some go on to develop Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) – a type of winter depression that seriously impacts everyday life.
Symptoms include lethargy, mood swings, oversleeping, and appetite changes (especially a craving for carbs).
Here are five ways to fight off the blues over the coming months.
Bask in the light
As SAD is closely linked to a lack of exposure to sunlight, make sure you spend time outdoors every day (especially when the sun is out). Maximise the light in your home and workplace by opening curtains and blinds during the day.
Avoid calorie-laden carbs – they’ll make you want to snooze on the sofa. Instead, eat oily fish, eggs, mushrooms, and red meat as they contain Vitamin D, a nutrient we usually get from exposure to the sun.
Exercise produces feel-good endorphins and improves your sleep. Enlist a friend to be your winter exercise buddy to keep you motivated.
Live like a Scandi
Embrace the Nordic concept of Friluftsliv, which means ‘outdoor living’. This involves exercising and socialising outside in the colder months. If you have outdoor space at your home, install a fire pit, chiminea or outdoor heating, and fairy lights or lanterns. Then invite some friends over for an alfresco tipple.
Take the plunge
If you’re feeling brave, why not try cold water swimming? Researchers believe it can boost your mood, sleep, and circulation. Coldwater newbies should take things slowly and always swim with someone else and in a safe location.
And if you’re still struggling
Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to speak to your GP if you feel like things are getting on top of you. They may suggest getting a light box (a special lamp that emits bright light), counselling, or prescribe medication.
Take care of yourself and thanks for reading.