Well Being & Mental Health

Winter Blues

It’s often worse in winter. A lot of the time people say that they feel lonelier, sadder, and generally just more down in winter time. It’s a mixture of the short days and long nights, the colder weather (at least in the Northern Hemisphere), and the fact that the year is drawing to a close. Statistics show that almost 22% of the UK population suffer from SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder, to some degree. This is the condition where you are adversely affected by the changing seasons, to the extent where it begins to have physical and mental effects. These can range from sleeplessness, or being tired all the time, through to overeating, becoming more irritable than usual, and having difficulties concentrating. You can read more about SAD here: http://www.sada.org.uk/.

If you have extreme SAD, they recommend getting a light box, which gives you an artificial boost of ‘sunlight’ to help top up your levels. However this can be pretty expensive, and if you only have a mild case, there are much easier, cheaper, and in my opinion more fun, ideas to help ease your blues.

The first thing which you should do is get outside, whilst there’s still daylight. Just go for a twenty minute walk, or even a jog; exercise can really help. Take your music player and go explore a new part of your town or city, or take a stroll through the park. Even going to the high street counts, and then you can treat yourself to a coffee or hot chocolate! This leads on to the second thing; give yourself a little present. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant or particularly expensive (though if you have a bit of spare cash for a splurge then why not) it just has to be something thoughtful that you enjoy. Something to make you smile. Imagine you are a friend getting a little treat for yourself, and think about what would be the most personal, lovely thing to get. It could be a new book to read, or a nice pen, or the next car in your miniature NASCAR collection.  The final tip is to try not to be alone all the time. Just having the company of friends and family can do wonders for your mood, so invite them over for a film or go on an outing together, and let them know you appreciate their support and company. If none of these methods seem to help. then you may want to look into getting a light box, as it can really make a world of difference.

This winter; stay warm, stay safe, and stay happy!

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