Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, is a type of depression that coincides with the changes in the seasons. It generally starts in autumn, continues through the winter months, and disappears in spring and summer.
This isn’t just ‘winter blues’. There are many symptoms to SAD, including being depressed for most of the day, losing interest in activities you normally love doing, difficulty concentrating, and problems sleeping. It can also make you feel moody and agitated, and sap you of your strength.
It’s not just a case of ‘buck up’ or ‘tough it out’. However, there are a number of things you can do to elevate your mood and keep it on an even keel throughout the year.
Here are some tips on how to avoid SAD this winter.
Make Your Surroundings Brighter
Open all the curtains or blinds in your home to let in as much daylight as possible. If your home is dark, try adding some skylights in key places.
Are there any large trees blocking the light to your house? If so, get them trimmed to let the sunlight in.
Spend as much time as possible outside. Go for regular walks and sit on a park bench and soak up the sun. Eat your lunch outside.
Take the kids to the park for a play.
Focus on the Positive
Keeping a gratitude journal is a great boost for your mood. Grab a coffee and spend 10 minutes a day writing them down.
Make a list of things you enjoy doing and then work your way down it. Listen to uplifting music; no more Adele for you!
Learn meditation; some the most successful people in the world swear by it. Jerry Seinfeld says ‘meditation is like a phone charger for your mind!’
There are endless studies that show exercising regularly elevates your mood. Find something you enjoy and make it part of your daily routine.
Use these tips to help you through the winter months and say to yourself, ‘I refuse to be bullied by SAD.’