Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) can make Halloween and the festive season very difficult for some. So here are a few ways to reduce the effects of SAD, so you can get back to enjoying yourself.
According to Mental Health Ireland, 1 in 15 of us is affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder between September to April every year.
What is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)?
It is a type of depression that occurs during the colder months of the year when days are shorter and nights are longer.
As it is a form of depression it can be crippling. Symptoms of SAD will typically appear between September and November and continue until April when the days get longer.
Common symptoms of SAD include: sleep problems, anxiety, lack of motivation, depression, lack of energy, mood changes, loss of interest in normal activities and a weakened immune system.
How to reduce the effects of SAD
1. Make sure you're getting enough sunlight.
Short days in the colder months make it difficult for many of us to get enough sunlight. So try to get up earlier or go for short walks during the day on your lunch breaks to get more sunlight.
Sunlight is important as when the body absorbs it, it helps to produce vitamin D. It may also be a good idea to take some vitamin D supplements during the colder months as this will be good for your overall health.
2. Keep Active
It's so easy for us to fall off the exercise bandwagon when the weather starts to get worse but this is when it's most important to keep going.
It's true that regular exercise is great for both your physical and mental health so do your best to keep active in the colder months.
If you're not a gym lover, why not try some dance classes or going for walks. Personally, I'm a big fan of at-home workouts, there are lots available on YouTube.
If you do choose to try at-home workouts be sure that the instructor is a trained professional and not just a random influencer offering advice as what works for them may not work for you.
3. Go on a holiday
This is a somewhat unconventional solution but who says holidays are just for the summer months? If you're longing for better weather why not plan a short getaway to a sunny location.
You could also do the opposite and book a holiday to a winter destination, perhaps a ski trip.
This may help you realise that cold weather doesn't have to be associated with sadness and gloomy weather - it can be just as magical as summer.
4. Stay Social
It's very easy to spend the cold months hidden away at home escaping the unpredictable weather, but this can also be damaging to your mental health and make SAD worse.
Keep your social life busy and plan outings, parties and catch-ups with friends.
Stay connected with friends and family and let them know how you're doing so they can help you get through it.
How to do combat the effects of SAD?