By Dr Becky Spelman
Seasonal Affected Disorder (or SAD as it is more commonly known) is the mood related condition which sees sufferers adversely affected by changes in the seasons. For most people this means they feel worse and exhibit symptoms of depression during winter months, but some can suffer in other seasons, also. Like depression, symptoms can be very unique to each individual, but often we see signs of apathy, disinterest, lowered sex drive, and sluggish performance with work.
Many people think of the condition as being something that just must be tolerated, but the good news is that sufferers can directly take action to lower their chances of feeling the disorder’s impact. Try the following seven tips to ward off SAD, and don’t forget to get in touch with Dr Becky and the Private Therapy Clinic if you feel you need our support.
1. Change Your Perception
Sometimes in life you come up against problems you can directly change, but when faced with issues that cannot be directly changed then it is important to consider if you could change your perception of the problem. If you miss the sunshine and beaches of summer, could you alter your outlook on winter and find the joys only possible in the colder months? If being active and swimming in the sea thrills you in the summer, then maybe getting motivated and outdoor ice skating can achieve the same result – never forget that you possess the ability to reframe any picture in your own mind, so be mindful of this.
2. Seek Out The Sunshine
Just because we’re entering winter doesn’t stop the natural vitamins we all need from sunlight being of huge importance to both our physical and mental health, so be mindful to not waste time when the sun does shine, even if it means wrapping up warm. Try to think of the sunshine as a vitamin D filled reminder to get outside and enjoy the fresh air whenever possible.
3. Make Time For Loved Ones
Quality time with our friends and families can be one of the first causalities of SAD, when the cold weather keeps us locked up inside our homes, rather than out with our loved ones. It’s critically important to schedule time to spend doing things you enjoy with people you care about, so check your diary and make sure you have time aside every week for this, and start to fill the appointments up.
4. Appreciations and Intentions
As with most areas of our psychological health, there are daily habits we can create which can make a major difference both the way we feel day to day, plus help us change our state of mind when needed. Simply taking one minute every morning to remind ourselves of the things we appreciate about our lives, and our intentions for the upcoming day will give us added motivation and focus to overcome any negative feelings and to approach the day with a positive outlook.
5. Write It Down
It is proven that keeping a journal is a highly effective way of both maintaining a steady mental health, and also helping the writer achieve a higher level of personal consciousness, which allows them to understand their own emotions to a much higher degree. Take just five minutes out every day to start, and write down the good things that happened that day. There are plenty of journal writing apps these days to mean you’re never more than a click away from your phone, allowing you to keep tabs on the positive things in your life at a moment’s notice.
6. Learn Something New
Whilst the dark mornings and evenings do make outdoor living more tricky, it just frees up more time to follow indoor pursuits, and it’s a great time of year to focus on learning as a life goal. To learn is the most human thing possible, and it boosts both your self esteem and your mental health, as you are proven to increase happiness, energy levels, and performance at work. Consider what you might like to increase your knowledge in, and dive in!
7. Don’t Suffer Alone
The most important part of mental health is to never suffer alone. Talk to a friend, family member, medical professional, or even a stranger, if necessary, but don’t bottle it up, or the suppression will multiply the depression. If you are ever in any doubt, call us at the Private Therapy Clinic and we’ll be there for you.
If you would like to find out more about this seasonal affective disorder, contact the Private Therapy Clinic by telephone on: +442038872866 or book online by clicking below.