Seasonal Affective Disorder

What is SAD?

It's that time of year again, particularly as the clocks go back, it's starting to dark earlier in the morning and then again in the afternoon.

Many people, almost 2 million people in the UK alone, struggle with the shorter days and longer nights. Increasingly, it recognised that it's more than just the 'winter blues' and that the reduced levels of sunlight has an impact on the serotonin the body produces and then affecting the way we feel.

Serotonin is the hormone that helps to regulate our mood.

What are the symptoms of SAD?

Is SAD something you have been struggling with, without knowing. Below are a few indicators that you may be suffering with SAD

  • Experience slight weight gain
  • Alternatively may have a reduced appetite
  • Increasingly emotional
  • Reduced motivation to go out and socialise
  • Potentially more irritable
  • Sleep patterns can be affected

Ways to cope with SAD

  • Make yourself get outside into the open air; wrap up accordingly!
  • Regulate your sleep so that you go to bed and wake up and consistent times
  • Be conscious of what you eat with plenty of proteins and vitamin D
  • Try to eat the colours of the rainbow to ensure a balanced diet
  • Exercise is great for both your mental and physical health; maybe also do it with friends or join a club
  • Get as much natural light as possible throughout the day
  • Spend time with people that make you happy
  • Plan ahead so you have things to do but also anticipate what needs to be done
  • Getting things 'done' can really help you maintain a positive outlook
  • Volunteering gets you out, gets you doing something you enjoy and can help you interact with people

If you continue to struggle with SAD do go to your local healthcare professional for advice.

Walk on a fresh autumnal day