Let's try to be positive about SAD (the winter blues)
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
Hate the winter, dark mornings and nights?
You could be suffering from SAD.
Are you feeling lower than usual, feeling depressed more?
The sun gives us serotonin which helps us feel good. For some of us during these dull, dark periods of light it is usually because we crave the sunlight. This is why a few of us have the winter blues as morning and night is all we see, hardly any daylight.
Eating more and hiding under the duvet?
It’s like we hibernate as our bodies are used to waking and sleeping by the sun. The sun in the winter months we cannot see so some of us adapt our bodies causing abnormal sleep patterns.
If you have answered yes to a few of these you could be suffering from SAD (seasonal affective disorder.)
8% of the people in the UK suffer from SAD, it can also be known as winter depression. During the autumn and winter months, we lack light. This creates a biochemical imbalance in the brain which effects of bodies, mentally, emotionally and psychically.
So what can we do about this condition, how can we help ourselves?
Let’s think of positive things rather than negative to help us through this period of the year.
Take some daytime walks, enjoy the colours of autumn the trees especially are beautiful that time of year. The colour of winter the sounds of crisp white frost as you walk, taking in the environment, and deep breathing as you walk, enjoying the fresh air.
Think about what is great at this time of year rather than what is negative. E.G. Bonfire night, Christmas and New Year.
Wrapping up warm can be great. Treat yourself to a new scarf, hat or gloves in your favourite colour to feel all cosy and warm.
Taking vitamin D supplements or eating, any of these foods
- Fatty fish, like tuna, mackerel, and salmon.
- Orange juice, soy milk, and cereals.
- Beef, liver.
- Egg yolks.
Be careful when it comes to carbs as we can crave them but they can have a reverse effect and make us feel lethargic and gain weight.
The above are what we are lacking as the sun provides us with vitamin D, and we need this in our bodies. Of course in the summer months, we are provided with vitamin D by the sun naturally.
Lightboxes are also good for people suffering from SAD, as we lack light that makes us feel unwell. They are an artificial light that comes on gradually in the morning to create dawn and again dims at night for sunset. To create the spring, summer effect for the sufferer.
If symptoms still exist and the above is not helping then, of course, your GP or talking therapy can help.
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About Deborah Hare
I have been a member of the UKCP for 5 years. I trained with Middlesex University to become a Psychotherapeutic Counsellor.My speciality is trauma and sexual abuse, this leads to an umbrella of different issues.
I wrote this article to help people cope with the winter blues, depression and anxiety. I practice these techniques with my clients,