The Festive period is over and January comes with dark and cold wintery nights, making us all feel less energetic and fatigued. Most of us are affected by the change in seasons, with its darker evenings and shorter days. We can feel Vitamin D deficient, and have a mild case of winter blues.
It is normal to feel more energetic and cheerful when the sun is shining as the sun releases endorphins known as “the happy hormone”. In the winter we often feel more tired, so we will feel the need to sleep and eat more to give us an extra energy boost!
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a form of depression that people experience at a particular time of year or during a particular season. It is a recognised mental health disorder.
However, if you experience SAD, the change in seasons will have a much greater effect on your mood and energy levels, and lead to symptoms of depression that may have a significant impact on your day-to-day
Things to help you manage with SAD Syndrome:
- When you are inside/ at work. try to sit near to a window during the light hours of the day so your are still getting Vitamin D through the window.
- Regular exercise will help to increase energy levels and brighten your mood. When at work, make a conscious effort a few times a day to pace around (Even if it is in the office!)
- Learn relaxation techniques such as yoga/meditation. Listen to motivational quotes everyday to inspire you!
- Eat a well balanced diet, in moderation. We all need coffee and chocolate now and again, but make sure to moderate this. If you Like to snack during the day, make sure is it high in protein, fibre or complex carbohydrates.. This way they will be slowing releasing, keep you fuller for longer and give you energy!
- Infrared light improves SAD by encouraging your brain to reduce the production of melatonin (a hormone that makes you sleepy) and increase the production of serotonin (a hormone that affects your mood).