Feeling SAD? Six Tips To Help You Beat Seasonal Affective Disorder
BEAUTY TIPS | 17 February 2017
Have you got a spot of the winter blues? Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) affects around two million people in the UK and more than 12 million across northern Europe. For sufferers – and that can be anyone from children through to teens, adults and the elderly – it can have life limiting implications. When the dark mornings and early sunsets kick in during the winter months, some of us find it hard to function. As yet there’s no known cure for the condition, bar a six-month trip to a sun soaked tropical beach perhaps – an unlikely proposition for most.
When the dark mornings and early sunsets kick in during the winter months, some of us find it hard to function.
So in the meantime, don’t suffer in silence. Sue Pavlovich from the Seasonal Affective Disorder Association has six helpful tips to help you lift yourself out of the doldrums. While everyone’s affected differently, there’s usually something that will help, she says…
A one-hour walk could do wonders for your spirits once the darker winter days draw in – potentially more effective than even a blast of sunshine from a therapy lamp. The best thing about walking is that it demands no special kit and costs nothing. Don’t have time? Then do your best to make time. Set your alarm half an hour earlier if you can. A walk before work on a cold, frosty morning might sound like torture but once you’ve got your limbs moving and woken up with a fresh blast of fresh air, you’ll be so glad you made the extra effort.
Get out (and about)
When winter kicks in, daylight becomes somewhat of a luxury. Make the most of your daylight hours by exposing yourself to them as much as you’re able. Try and nip out at lunchtime rather than languishing indoors or staying tied to your office desk. Sit near the window whenever you can and when it’s time to redecorate at home, choose pale colours that reflect the natural light.
Keep warm and cosy
Evidence suggests that feeling cold can make you feel more depressed. In fact, according to research (NHS), staying warm and cosy can reduce the winter blues by half. Try and keep your home heated to a toasty 18-21 degrees if you can and warm up from the inside with plenty of hot drinks and food.
A balanced diet is a powerful weapon if you’re feeling fed up during the winter. Nutrient-rich, healthy foods will not only give you more energy when it’s dull and dark outside, they can boost your mood and help balance blood sugar. They should also help you fight that craving for sugary snacks and carbohydrates. Eat fruit and vegetables, more fruit and vegetables and more fruit and vegetables.
Switch on the light
Light therapy helps many people banish the seasonal blues at home and involves sitting in front of a special lamp for up to two hours every day. Super-charged SAD therapy lamps will set you back around £100 each but are around ten times stronger than ordinary lighting. If you find getting up in the morning a real challenge, a ‘dawn simulator lamp’ (that lights up gradually mimicking a real sunrise) can be helpful too.
See friends and family
When you’re feeling lack lustre, socialising with friends and family can require a lot more effort. Make the effort. There’s nothing like a get-together with the people that love you to raise your spirits. Make an effort to go out, even if it’s only for a little while.
If you’re feeling overwhelmingly sad and fed up, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Your GP will be able to offer advice and there are treatment options out there if you feel like you’re sinking.
Visit nhs.com for more help and information
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