Once we get into January and February, it can seem awhile since we felt some warm sunshine. We are in the depths of winter and the spring time and summer holidays can seem a long way off. We still have a little while before the spring equinox, when the clocks go forward and the days begin to get a bit longer. Although we can have those lovely crisp winter days when the sun shines and there is a blanket of frost, the UK can have many of those grey days that linger on and on and we barely see the sun for weeks on end.
Many people find that they suffer with SAD (seasonal effective disorder) particularly at this time of year.
What is SAD?
Sad can feel like depressive illness. It is thought to be most likely triggered by the lack of sunlight in winter. This can affects levels of hormones (melatonin and serotonin) in the part of the brain controlling mood, sleep and appetite.
Symptoms of SAD are wide ranging and can include feelings of feeling ‘down’ or depressed, lack of energy, problems with concentration, anxiety, loss of libido, relationship problems and sudden mood changes.
You may feel you need to speak with your GP who can give you the best advice, but he following information may also be helpful to you:-
There are many simple things you can try that may help improve your feelings, these include taking walks out in the natural light when you can, making your home as light and airy as possible. Taking regular exercise can often lift your mood, along with a healthy balanced diet.
Talk to your family and friends about SAD, so they understand how your mood changes during the winter. This can help them to be more supportive and understanding.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
If you decide to seek out counselling a form of therapy called Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) can also help.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) takes the view, that there are helpful and unhelpful ways of reacting to a situation – which is determined the meaning we attach to it. If we have a tendency to view a situation in a negative, unhelpful way, based on interpretation rather than fact, then it can lead to negative emotions such as depression or SAD.