I think S.A.D (Seasonal Affective Disorder) isn’t talked about enough and it’s something that really affects me and my mood as we draw into the colder months. I know a lot of people live for cosy jumpers, dark evenings and colder weather but it’s really not for me. It’s also important to note that S.A.D can affect people in the Summer months too, it’s just that for me it’s the other way round and in this post I’m going to speak about my own experience.
What is S.A.D?
Seasonal Affective Disorder is a mood disorder in which people who have normal mental health throughout most of the year but can come to show depressive symptoms at the same time each year, most commonly in winter.
What are the symptoms?
- Low mood
- Loss of appetite or wanting to eat more sugary foods
- Not being able to concentrate
- Not wanting to socialise
- Feeling lethargic and sleepy throughout the day
- Lack of motivation
For me personally, I find I can be in a low mood for no reason, lack motivation, want to stay at home and also can struggle to concentrate especially when the mornings and evenings are super dark. For me personally, I hate going to work when it’s dark and coming home when it’s dark, it feels like the whole day has flashed before my eyes and when I get home I don’t want to do anything but crawl into bed, which of course isn’t ideal.
What can you do to treat S.A.D?
There’s a lot of things you can do yourself for S.A.D. Of course, I’m not a doctor and I don’t want to tell anyone they have it and what to do if they do get a diagnosis, but from personal research I find the following can help.
- Get as much sunlight as possible
- Sit near a window when indoors, so you can see the daylight when it’s there
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet (so even if you do crave the sugary foods, you’re still getting the good stuff your body needs too)
- S.A.D lamp therapy
- Try and make your home and work environment as light as possible
- Learn relaxation techniques
For me, I find getting myself out on a nice walk with the dogs really helps pep my mood. I’ve also recently started to incorporate Yoga and Pilates into my workout schedule and I hope the breathing techniques, along with the meditation elements will be things I can use at times of need when I feel down.
Do you have S.A.D?
You’re not alone. There’s so many people out there who suffer from this and you don’t need to get it diagnosed to try the techniques above. I always find that as the nights start to draw closer, I no longer want to go out. I want to stay at home and honestly, keep myself to myself which isn’t like me at all. I think that S.A.D isn’t recognised enough and that’s the reason I’ve made this post, to help others recognise something that could be affecting them and hopefully, try some of the treatments to help.
I’d love to know if you suffer and if so, please share what you find helps whether your S.A.D is in relation to the colder months or maybe even Summer. Sharing is caring and it’s nice to know you’re not alone.
Love, always – B
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