It’s that time of year again – the clocks have gone back, the nights are most definitely longer and we’re all feeling the bitter chill. For some, however, the season brings more than just a little winter blues, and the time of year can cause a genuine issue to our health.
SAD, short for ‘Seasonal Affective Disorder’ is a form of depression that’s thought to affect up to one in three of us. It’s a startling figure, which is causing plenty of concern to health professionals around the country. Symptoms include sleeplessness, anxiety, lack of self-esteem and lower confidence, alongside all those you would typically expect with any other form of depression. There are ways you can combat this of course, and we’ve compiled just a few:
Visit your GP
It’s amazing how few of us would even dream of talking to a total stranger about our problems, but it’s often exactly what will help.
They can recommend courses of CBT, offer medication is extreme cases and even just validate our fears that it’s somehow our fault that we’re not well.
Get a course of light therapy
There’s no coincidence that this illness strikes in the darker months – the lack of sunlight plays havoc with our ‘happiness’ hormone production. Light therapy can help restore the balance with these serotonin levels and make you feel better.
It might sound a bit strange in the middle of the autumn, but a good clear out of the house has a number of benefits. Not only can you hide the sunglasses and shorts (not helping…), you can clear things out to make a little extra cash to boost your mood.
Try decorating with some bright colours, and even treating yourself to some flowers (these bright ones from Floric are gorgeous), and you’ll get a summery vibe in no time.
Pick up a new hobby
Whether you’re an old hack at football, or you just love to paint or write, a new hobby will give you something productive to do whilst you’re at you’re lowest ebb.
Whilst there’s no undermining illnesses like depression, it does help to have something to distract you. Many hobbies can be done from the home (for example, craft or blogging), whilst others will require that you join a team. Such interaction will be great for boosting your morale as the atmosphere will allow you to feel altogether more positive.