Do you find yourself dreading the shorter days? Do shifts in the weather drain your energy and leave you feeling blue? If so, it’s possible you have seasonal affective disorder.
Seasonal affective disorder (often abbreviated to SAD) is a form of depression triggered by changes in the weather at temperature. For the majority of people this takes place in the autumn and winter months when the days are darker and shorter. Although many people feel less upbeat on cold grey days, those with seasonal affective disorder find that the winter weather can actually disrupt their body’s internal clock and affect the release of serotonin and melatonin – hormones responsible for regulating mood. It’s for this reason that SAD is sometimes referred to as the winter blues.
If you have seasonal affective disorder, you may find yourself experiencing regular periods of low mood, anxiety, and irritability during the winter period. You might lose the ability to focus, while also noticing disruptions to your sleep pattern. It can affect your appetite, sex drive, weight, and social life, playing havoc with your wellbeing.
The good news is that there are many ways to manage your seasonal affective disorder and take care of your mental health. Although everyone is different and there is no one-size-fits-all solution, the following tips are known to be effective at boosting mood and alleviating symptoms.
Make the most of daylight
There is noticeably less daylight this time of year, and that means you should strive to make the most of it. Get outside during the day as often as you can. Your body is craving the natural light so soak it up by going for walks, runs, or bike rides.
Brighten up your home
Being cooped up in a dark, dingy house or apartment is not going to help your mental health, so make an effort to add as much sunlight into your home as you can. Keep curtains and shutters open during the day, and move your office or living area into brighter areas if needed. If your home is naturally dark, consider investing in the best plantation shutters which allow you to let the light in but also shut it out when you need to sleep or focus on work.
Look after your body
The more you take care of your body, the better grip you’ll have over your mental health. No matter how difficult it may seem, you should make a conscious effort to exercise, eat healthily, and get as much sleep as possible during this time.
When times are tough, you need something to comfort and soothe you. This might be watching your favourite film, taking a long hot bath, or huddling on the sofa in your favourite pyjamas.
Having a support network of friends and family is one of the best things you can do to manage your depression. Reach out to your loved ones on a daily basis and let people know how you;re feeling. This way, they can support you when you really need it.
Thank you for reading. I hope you find what works best for you or your loved one when trying to deal with SAD.