7 tips on how to get through autumn/winter with SAD

Friday, 14 October 2016

I'd say a good chunk of people suffer with Seasonal Affective/Adjustment Disorder (SAD), including myself on occasion. Despite autumn and winter being my favourite seasons, the lack of light really gets to me and it can drive me nuts. Incessant rain and darkness can be miserable, but there are ways to get through it with little misery.


1. Starting with an obvious one - make the most of the daylight!!
Just be out in daylight as often as possible, even if it's a bit grey and wet. I like going shopping on days like that, meandering from shop to shop and chilling in cafes and taking it easy. If the weather's a bit naff, get out of bed and do some 'spring' cleaning. Open your curtains, get dressed, put Friends on and get moving. Being active will make you feel less of a zombie. If the weather's nice, make the most of the wintry sun - visit a National Trust site, walk the dog, visit a farmer's market, drive around, see the sights etc. Wrap up warm and enjoy the daylight while we've got it.

2. Create a calming, atmospheric space
Everyone likes a candle. I have two on my bedside table that I light almost every night because they're just so atmospheric and combined they smell amazing. I feel like I'm in a winter wonderland with flickering flames beside me and sparkly fairy lights above me. Love those little additions of light in the winter. If a candle doesn't chill you out, I don't know what will.

3. Binge watch a ton of TV... because you can
Dark nights are the perfect excuse to binge watch TV shows and movies. Take up this opportunity to get cosy and watch all the TV, because no-one goes out in the evenings in winter anyway, do they? Do they?

4. Eat well and get moving
I'm hardly an advocate for healthy eating seeing as I eat on average 1 vegetable a year, but I know how good healthy eating is for your mood. I try to eat well, and I think it's more important in the colder months because you need good brain food to keep you feeling happy. Do your best to get a little bit more veg and fruit into your diet. Doing some light exercise can also lift your mood, even if it's just walking around the block or the park. There's no need to go hardcore in the gym if that's not your cup of tea.


5. Delve into a good book
I suggest the Harry Potter series at this time of year because it's so wonderfully autumnal it hurts. Books are the perfect comfort thing when you're feeling a bit down. Escaping into a book distracts you from reality for a bit which is nice when you're feeling out of sorts.

6. Embrace the holidays!!
If you're a bit like me and you tend to hibernate in bed in the colder months and around the Christmas period, try stepping out of your comfort zone embrace everything festive and joyous. Take your family and/or friends out and listen to some carol singingsee a pantomime, watch the lights switch-on in your local town, take the kids to see Santa, or go to a Christmas market and drink too much hot chocolate and rum and enjoy those classic Christmas tunes. Wear your thickest scarf and woolliest mittens and enjoy the most wonderful time of the year. Might as well, you can't escape it(!!!) Being a Scrooge is boring anyway. Christmas is so full of joy and wonder, it might distract you from the fact that you haven't seen the sun in weeks.

Straight to the point - a SAD lamp/light box gives off artificial daylight to brighten your mood. I've linked to a helpful article above from The Independent showcasing 10 lamps so you can have a look at the different models and price ranges. They're not cheap but they're supposedly really good (my mum has one and loves it), so if it's something you're interested in I'd recommend getting one, but do some research first. You can even buy an alarm clock that gradually wakes you up with light, so the morning doesn't hit you as hard when you wake up.

Hope my tips are useful to some of you. If you have any tips of your own, leave them in the comments! I'd love to know what you do to combat a low mood this time of year, because I know it can be hard.


Kate

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