Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal affective disorder (or SAD) is a type of depression that is related to the changes in seasons. It can sometimes be referred to as “winter depression” as symptoms are usually more apparent and severe in the winter for most people. You might say it’s like having your own portable black cloud. People with SAD may experience some of the symptoms below:

  •  Lack of energy
  •  Difficulty concentrating
  •  Low mood including feeling sad, hopeless and tearful
  •  Feeling anxious, angry or agitated
  •  Sleeping too much or difficulty waking up
  •  Feeling unsociable
  •  Changes in appetite

If you think you’re experiencing this, don’t brush it off as just a case of “winter blues” that you have to tackle by yourself. SAD affects more than 12 million people across northern Europe so you’re not alone and there are things you can do to keep your mood and motivation steady throughout the season. You are worthy of self-care and we can help you take the right steps to battling this seasonal funk you may be going through.

1. Keep active
Research has shown that exercise as simple as just walking for an hour a day boosts our
endorphin (happy hormone) production and can improve our mood.

2. Get outside
Go outdoors in natural daylight and try to absorb as much vitamin D from the sunlight as you can, especially at midday and on brighter days. If you’re indoors, try and sit near windows when possible. Every ray of sunshine we can get, no matter the weather, is golden (pun not intended) so don’t waste it!

3. Keep warm
Being cold can make anyone feel low so try and stay warm with hot drinks, hot food and warm clothes. It’s been shown that staying warm can reduce winter blues by half, so aim to keep your home between 18C and 21C.

4. Eat healthily
A healthy diet will boost your mood and give you more energy to stay bright and active. Never restrict any food groups as crash diets are unsustainable and bad for you in the long run. If you find yourself wanting to overindulge on heavy comfort food and carbohydrates (which is a common symptom of SAD) opt for lots of fresh fruits and vegetables instead to reap the benefits of all the vitamins. Keep your protein sources high as protein keeps you fuller for longer so you won’t feel the urge to keep eating. Think lean meats, poultry, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds and low fat dairy products.

5. Practice good skincare
Keeping on top of your skincare is not only therapeutic but the results on your skin will keep you feeling beautiful and confident all year long. Treat your mind and body to our luxuriously rich Bath & Massage oil a few times a week to soothe, massage and drain all the toxins from your body and keep you feeling zen. Try our face roller and gua sha with any of our silky serums to boost blood circulation and relieve muscle tension for the ultimate self-care skin ritual.

6. See your friends and family
Humans are social creatures by nature and it’s been shown that socialising can boost mental health and stop you feeling blue. Though it may be hard some days, try and keep in touch with loved ones as often as you can and make an effort to accept invitations to social events, even if you only go for a little while.

If SAD is affecting you or your loved one to the point where it’s becoming difficult to function with simple daily tasks, don’t be afraid to seek help and reach out to your GP for more information. There’s no known way to prevent the development of seasonal affective disorder but if you take steps early on to manage symptoms, you may be able to prevent them from getting worse over time.

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