As we approach the winter months do you feel like your get up and go has got up on gone? Then it’s possible that you’re suffering from S.A.D, otherwise known as seasonal affective disorder. Whilst most of us suffer from the winter blues the symptoms of S.A.D are more severe and can be somewhat debilitating. However, the good news is that there are plenty of tips to ward of this seasonal mood swing. Here are our top 5 tips to deal with S.A.D and make your winter a more pleasant one.
The reason why some people suffer from S.A.D is primarily thought to be caused by the lack of light. The lack of light affects various hormones and can therefore result in low mood. Therefore, it makes sense to soak up as much natural sunlight as possible. Start by opening all your curtains in the morning to let the natural light flood in. If it’s feasible then try to take some time out in the great outdoors. You’d be surprised how a stroll outside can boost your mood.
If you’ve had your fill of natural light but still feel the effects of winter depression, then it may be worth giving phototherapy a shot. Also known as light therapy, some people find that this alone can have a massive impact on their mental health. Light boxes are readily available and a great way of delivering a controlled amount of artificial light. However, it pays to do your research first to make sure that you invest in the right piece of equipment.
It is thought that the lack of light reduces the amount of serotonin that your brain produces. Serotonin is more commonly known as the happy hormone and therefore anything that can boost this hormone is a useful tool to employ. Exercise is well known to increase the production of serotonin and can thus offset the reduction caused by the lack of light. However, the key to exercise is to find something that you enjoy. That way you are much more likely to stick to an exercise regime.
The simple act of practicing gratitude is an effective tool for warding off low moods. Indeed, you can practice gratitude in multiple ways. For example, some people find that writing down things that they are grateful for is a great way to boost their mental health. But gratitude doesn’t need to just be confined to pen and paper. Practicing gratitude with family, friends and even a stranger is a great way to boost your mental health and that others. Forget being cruel to be kind as being good to be kind has many more beneficial effects for the community at large.
Self-care is imperative for both physical and mental health and never more so than in winter. Self-care means different things for different people and it’s important for you to do things that personally brings you joy. Perhaps that’s a long soak in a bath or a leisurely coffee with a good friend. Whatever makes you feel good, make sure you make time to do it and under no circumstances feel guilty!