It's been a long ol' time since I've done a mental health related post, and seeing as it's arguably the hardest time of the year for those with seasonal affective disorder (SAD) then I thought it's the right time to talk about it. Now that the evenings are darkening (how is it dark by 4pm?!) and the colder weather is creeping in, the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder can start to show.
So what is seasonal affective disorder? While I'm definitely NOT an expert, as far as I understand SAD is a type of depression which comes and goes depending on the seasons. The symptoms are similar to other types of depression including a low mood, loss of pleasure in everyday activities, feelings of worthlessness, etc. yet those with SAD may feel these symptoms more strongly during the winter months in comparison to the summer months (yet for some people it can be the opposite way around!).
Today's post then is a small number of "Tips and Tricks" which might help those with seasonal affective disorder, and maybe those of you who feel a little down at this time of year:
1. Wake up at Sunrise
When the days feel shorter, why not start them as early as possible? Also, there's the added bonus of watching the sunrise in the morning!
2. Research SAD Lamps
These lights emit a simulation of sunlight at the correct times for required serotonin release, which in turn helps with the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder.
3. Spend Time Outside
Try to spend some of your day outside while it's light, even if it's just a quick ten minute walk or to eat your lunch outside.
4. Embrace the Evenings
Yeah, they're darker than usual - but that doesn't mean to say you can't enjoy them. Get the fire on, curl up under a cosy blanket, light some candles and grab a hot chocolate (you could close the curtains if it helps!) and spend some time to relax.
5. Schedule Plans
If staying in isn't for you - organise a night out with friends! A good night out can improve your mood and gives you something to look forward to. Or if you prefer, you could book onto an evening course, join a club or take up a new hobby.
6. Reach Out
If SAD is beginning to really affect your mental health, don't be afraid to talk to your friends, family or doctor about it. It really can help!
I hope y'all enjoyed this post and that these tips are helpful to you!
Disclaimer - As always, please bear in mind that I am not a mental health professional or any other type of professional, this is a hobby for me and is for informational purposes only and shouldn’t be seen as any kind of advice. I am not liable for any consequences as a result of this information and if readers rely on any of the information on my blog, it is at their own risk. I cannot confirm that all information is correct, accurate or reliable. The information is true to the best of my knowledge, yet there may be omissions, errors or mistakes. This information isn’t intended as a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have, or believe to have, a mental illness, please contact a mental health professional.