As the days get shorter, they can begin to feel darker as well-both physically and mentally. The lacking sunlight combined with increasingly cloudy skies can result in harmful effects to your mental health, such as seasonal affective disorder (SAD). In fact, nearly 25 per cent of those who experience the ‘winter blues’ develop SAD, which is characterised by traits similar to depression, including irritability, withdrawal, poor sleep patterns and low mood. Consider these tips to keep your spirits high this winter:
- Appreciate the outdoors – Even in colder temperatures, it’s important to soak up the sun and provide your body with as much natural daylight as possible in the wintertime. You can do so by going for a midday walk during your lunch break, choosing pale colours in your home that reflect outside light or sitting near windows.
- Keep your body warm – Expert caution that being cold can make you feel more depressed, making it critical to stay warm during chilly weather. Bundle up with warm clothes and shoes, and keep your home between 18c and 21c. Don’t forget to heat up food and drinks, too – some ideas include a steaming bowl of soup or cuppa.
- Embrace healthy habits – Especially in the wintertime, experts say that sticking to a healthy lifestyle can help decrease your seasonal blues. Be sure to eat a balanced diet, stay hydrated, exercise regularly and keep in touch with friends and family.
- Ask for help – Don’t be afraid to seek medical attention if you feel as though your daily life is disrupted by SAD. For more information on treatment options, click here