Now that the clocks have gone back, darker nights are beginning to trigger Seasonal Affective Disorder across the UK, and it’s more common than you may realise.
The nights drawing in can seriously affect our mental health and about 20 percent of people in the UK experience the “winter blues”.
Energy levels and the amount of sleep we get can be severely impacted. So, we thought we’d put together a few helpful tips that can benefit your mental health this winter.
Sleep – it’s something most of us don’t get nearly enough of. It’s suggested that between seven to nine hours per night is the optimum amount, so it might be time to re-think your bed-time schedule if you’re not getting enough. Sleep deprivation can severely impact your mood and your concentration, so make sure you give yourself the best chance of having a good day.
Routine – your daily routine can get mixed up with these darker nights. The more you stick to a routine, the more in control you will feel and less anxious when things during the winter begin to disrupt your flow.
Make the most of natural light – It may help you to spend time in natural light. Many of us will leave for work when it’s dark and commute home when it’s dark, so making the most of lunch breaks to get outside can be extremely beneficial. Go for walks and take in the fresh air.
Eat healthily – Eating healthily can boost your mood and make you feel less sluggish. It can give you more energy and stop you from putting on weight over the winter months.
Seek support – SADA is the only registered charity in the UK dedicated to SAD. There is free information and contact numbers for telephone support. Sharing your experience with SAD with other people can be therapeutic and you may find others are also struggling with it too and have similar symptoms.
To find out more information about whether you might be suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder, click here.
Forbes. (2019). 5 ways to manage your mental health over the holidays. Accessible: https://www.forbes.com/sites/francesbridges/2019/10/28/5-ways-to-manage-your-mental-health-over-the-holidays/#4e000f1b31ed. Last Accessed: 31 October 2019.
Mind. (2019). Seasonal Affective Disorder. Accessible: https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/seasonal-affective-disorder-sad/#.XbmA9-j7SUk Last Accessed: 31 October 2019.
NHS. (2019). Beating the winter blues. Accessible: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/dealing-with-winter-blues-sad/ Last Accessed: 31 October 2019.