Seasonal Affective Disorder- How to Avoid and Deal with It
November 25, 2019
Autumn is officially here.
The clocks have gone back, it is consistently below 5°c and it’s dark when leaving for work as well as on the way home.
For a lot of people, the changes that come with the seasons can affect their mood, but for those with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) this can have a massive detrimental effect to their daily lives.
With winter drawing near, we have pulled together some of our top tips to help those that suffer with seasonal changes.
What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?
If you are unsure if you have SAD, some symptoms can include:
- A persistent low mood and/or Irritability
- Feeling lethargic and sleeping for longer than normal
- Loss of interest in your daily activities
Getting out during the day.
This sounds like an obvious one, but it has to be said that getting out during the day, even for a ten-minute walk on your lunch break can do wonders for your mental health regardless of whether you suffer from SAD, not to mention soaking in some vitamin D. Make sure you wrap up warm!
Another one that everyone mentions, but making a concerted effort to ensure you have your 5-a-day as well as cutting your alcohol intake down and drinking more water, can help your mood, your skin and your general wellbeing. As hard as it is this time of year, there are some easy ways to get the goodness you need; such as homemade soups, stews and curries that will also keep you warm.
Exercise. Exercise. Exercise.
This again, like eating healthily, can make a massive impact on your mental health. If you aren’t a natural gym bunny, that’s ok! Even taking little steps can help. Park further away from the entrance to work or the supermarket, get off the bus a stop early. Every little helps!
Make the most of the light.
Having already mentioned getting out and about during the day, this is to help you whilst inside. Try and ensure that your home and work environments are as light and airy as you can make them. If you are able to, try and sit near a window during the day too, as the gradual shift in light as it gets darker will help you, rather than walking out to a pitch-black car park after work being a shock to the system.
This is a type of therapy that your GP may suggest to you that is safe and has little to no side effects. Sitting near a light therapy box that’s designed to mimic natural outdoor light whilst working or going about your day to day can really help those with SAD by easing symptoms and increasing energy levels.
These are just our top five tips, there are many other options including talking therapies and medication if that is necessary.
We always suggest speaking to your GP to discuss any type of therapy, to ensure the duration, intensity and when would be the most effective time of day for you.
If you think you may have SAD and are not yet seeking treatment, you can read more here.
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