Living with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
What is SAD?
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that comes and goes in a seasonal pattern. SAD is sometimes known as ‘winter depression’ or ‘winter blues’ because the symptoms are usually more apparent and severe during the winter. Some people with SAD may have symptoms during the summer and feel better during the winter.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms of SAD can include:
• a persistent low mood
• a loss of pleasure or interest in everyday activities
• feelings of despair, guilt and worthlessness
• feeling lethargic (lacking in energy) and sleepy during the day
• sleeping for longer than normal and finding it hard to get up in the morning
• craving carbohydrates and gaining weight
For some people, these symptoms can have a significant impact on their day-to-day activities.
If SAD affects you during winter and you are experiencing some of the symptoms mentioned, there are some things you could try that might help.
Make the most of natural light
It might help to spend time in natural light, for example going for walks, spending time in parks or gardens, or simply sitting near a window. This seems to be helpful if you experience SAD in winter.
Plan ahead for winter
For example, try to make meals in advance and freeze them if you know you are likely to lack the energy to do this during the most difficult period.
Plan for more difficult times
If you’ve noticed your symptoms follow a pattern, you may be able to work out when they’re most likely to start in the future. This may help you put things in place for those times.
For example, you could try to re-arrange stressful activities or events for another time, plan relaxing activities that might help improve your mood, or try to make more spare time to rest or do things you enjoy.
Keep your mind and body active
Our Peer Support service offers a full calendar of events, workshops and groups that you can get involved in, including group walks, quizzes, and support groups, all designed to support your mental health and wellbeing.
You can refer yourself to Community Living Well by completing this simple online form.
For more helpful tips and advice, visit Mind.
Author: Stewart Gillespie
Posted on: 27th November 2023