SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder

Bowen for Mental Health

Seasonal Affective Disorder

With the clocks going back and the nights getting darker, it is time to look after your mental wellbeing. According to the NHS it's thought that seasonal affective disorder (SAD), affects around 2 million people in the UK. It can affect people of any age, including children.

Key symptoms:

  • depression
  • sleep problems
  • lethargy and fatigue
  • overeating
  • irritability
  • feeling down and unsociable
  • Joint and muscle pain

Tips To Help Yourself

There are many things you can do to help yourself and it is always better to start sooner rather than later. Some suggestions are:

1 Exercise – Research has shown that a one hour walk in daylight can be as helpful as light treatment.

2 Keep Warm - I know most of us are concerned about the cost of heating this year but being cold can make you more depressed. It's also been shown that staying warm can reduce the winter blues by half.

Keep warm with hot drinks and hot food. Wear warm clothes and shoes and aim to keep your home between 18C and 21C (or 64F and 70F degrees). Layering clothes is an excellent way of keeping warm.

3 Eat Well and Regularly -  A healthy diet will boost your mood, give you more energy and stop you putting on weight over winter. Balance your craving for carbohydrates, such as pasta and potatoes, with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Eating regularly will also help to keep you warm.

4 Light Therapy - Some people find light therapy effective for seasonal depression. One way to get light therapy at home in winter is to sit in front of a light box for up to two hours a day.

5 Find a New Hobby – keeping your mind active helps to combat SAD. A new hobby generally inspires us and gives us something to look forward to and concentrate on.

6 Socialise with Friends and Family - It's been shown that socialising is good for your mental health and helps ward off the winter blues. So even if you only go for a little whole, do keep in touch with people. It can be so tempting on the dark, cold nights just to stay in.

7 Have Therapy –Talking to someone or having a hands-on treatment or a combination of the two can help you cope with the symptoms. I am offering a free 30 minute zoom chat or telephone call if you would like to chat anything through.

8 Support Group

Think about joining a support group. SADA is the UK's only registered charity dedicated to SAD. It costs £20 (£10 for concessions) to join, and you'll receive an information pack, regular newsletters, discounts on products such as light boxes, and contacts for telephone support.

I hope this helps, but if you have any questions please call or email me.