I don’t know about you but I often feel a little sad when I notice the days getting shorter, the temperature getting colder, and the rain beginning to fall more frequently. As winter approaches, it feels like we wake up in the dark and come home in the dark. Even the so-called daylight hours are often grey, wet and cold – a pretty miserable combination, all things considered.
This is due in large part to the fact that we generally see a lot less sun throughout this season . And let’s be honest, the sun really DOES help us to feel good..! Most of us love going outside in wonderfully sunny weather. Having lived in both the UK and the Netherlands (neither country being particularly renowned for hot and balmy days of sunshine!), I’m sure I’ve noticed that people actually smile more when the sun is shining…! I admit that this last statement is not a scientifically proven fact – just a humble observation that I would probably find hard to prove in court – however, I DO believe that when the fine weather begins and the blossom trees come to life, people feel the promise of spring in the air and, more often than not, feel happier… and perhaps a little more carefree..?
So… why so SAD..?
The vast majority of us are lucky. We may have a tendency to get a bit ‘blue’ during the bleak winter months but we can usually get through it relatively unscathed. There are others, however, who may not escape these winter months as easily as the rest of us. These people may suffer from a condition known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD for short) or winter depression. It’s actually been recognised by the medical profession as a real disorder .
There are several key symptoms that typify the disorder and according to the Mayo Clinic, these can be listed as follows :
- Feeling depressed most of the day, nearly every day
- Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed
- Having low energy
- Having problems with sleeping (or sleeping more than usual)
- Experiencing changes in your appetite or weight
- Feeling sluggish or agitated
- Having difficulty concentrating
- Feeling hopeless, worthless or guilty
- Having frequent thoughts of death or suicide” [3a]
So how can we help ourselves or anyone else suffering from these, at times debilitating, symptoms?
Dr. Josh Axe  has several wonderful tips on which natural steps we can take that have shown some real results . He recommends the following:
- Get a light box
- Keep exercising
- Add a vitamin D supplement
- Get outside
- Talk it out
- Eat a healthy diet
- Reach out for help
For more detailed information on any of these 7 tips, please feel free to read further here.
We hope that some of this information has been helpful to you. If any of you wish to consult a Dutch article on this matter, please click here.
And if anyone has had success with any other helpful methods to counteract the effects of SAD, please feel free to reach out to us at: email@example.com