It’s not uncommon to feel a little grumbly when the days start drawing in and the temperature starts to plummet. For some people, me included, the grumbles can turn into something more serious and this is where Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D) comes in.
S.A.D is a spectrum, ranging from feeling a little down in the dumps to full blown depression. I sit somewhere in the middle; I get irritable, tired and pessimistic.
S.A.D is triggered due to a lack of natural light. When the nights begin to creep in, it’s awful leaving the house in the dark and coming back in the pitch black, especially with the biting cold and insessant rain to deal with as well.
But don’t worry, not all is lost! Here are my tried and tested top tips for tackling those pesky cases of S.A.D.
1- Make your morning routine as enjoyable as possible. I know it sounds like an oxymoron but it works I promise! Getting up in the dark is just the worst, so just ignore what’s going on behind the curtains, crank up your radio and start your day off in the best way you can. I like to get up a tad earlier so I can properly wake up before I have to leave, it’s much more relaxing than having to rush first thing in the morning.
2- Spend as much time as possible outdoors. As S.A.D is intensified by the lack of natural sunlight, make the most of every single ray when you can! Go for a walk on your lunch break and make sure you get plenty of fresh air, especially if you’re starting to feel down.
3- Head to the countryside. Cities can be bleak during winter, especially after Christmas when all the decorations have been taken down. However, the countryside flourishes in winter, especially on those crisp clear days when the sky is an endless piercing blue. Escaping for some fresh air can really help get your head together.
4- Eat healthily and exercise. It’s tempting to comfort eat if you’re feeling a bit rubbish, especially during winter. But refrain and your body and your mood will be all the better for it. Keeping fit will allow those happy endorphins to flow and eating healthily will keep you on top of your game.
5- Keep up with your social life. With evenings being non-existant, it can be easy to forget about your social life. When you get home all you want to do is crash and curl up into a snug, comfy ball on the sofa. Don’t! Get up and out, see your friends or head to the gym. You’ll feel all the better for it.
6- Make the most of winter festivities. Winter is packed with festivals: Halloween, Christmas, New Years Eve… there’s a lot going on and a lot to look forward to. Embrace them whole heartedly and enjoy yourself!
7- Get away. If you can escape for a weekend, or even longer, then do! A bit of sun on your back or a change of scenery will do you wonders. Taking a break to a sunny destination in winter rather than summer will relieve you of your S.A.D symptoms and better yet, make everyone in the office jealous! There’s nothing more uplifting than a short break. (If you think you can’t afford to travel at Uni then think again and give this post a read: 7 Ways to Travel at University).
8- Indulge the crapness once in a while! Sometimes it’s nice just to let it all out. Kick back with a tub of ice-cream or your favourite take-away and binge watch the latest Netflix series. It’s good to treat yourself to some self-indulgent rubbish once in a while, just don’t make a habit of it!
If you ever feel like you’re out of your depth then please contact your GP, S.A.D can get serious fast so seek professional help if necessary.
Have you had a personal experience with S.A.D? Let me know how you cope with it best. Leave me a comment or contact me via my social media pages.