Seasonal Effective Disorder (SAD), is a condition that affects three in one hundred people in the UK, according to a recent article in the Independent.
It happens because of a few reasons, but a change in daylight is one of the main causes because daylight stimulates a part of the brain called the hypothalamus which is responsible for our mood and our general feeling of wellbeing. During autumn and winter when there is not so much daylight some people’s brain is affected by the lack of daylight hours and it can upset your body clock, therefore affecting your sleep, body temperature, hormone levels and mood. Also, your body may not produce certain brain chemicals and hormones such as melatonin and serotonin which are responsible for helping us get a good nights sleep and keeping our mood levels regulated. But, don’t worry, there are some simple and effective ways that you can help to improve your low mood.
Work in bright conditions
Working in bright conditions, such as near a window, will help stimulate the hypothalamus part of your brain. Try to ensure that as much natural light pours into your workspace and when there is sun, don’t put artificial lighting on, if possible.
Go for a walk at lunchtime
As daylight hours are so limited, you must make use of the daylight as much as you can. Going for a walk at lunchtime, even if the weather is cold, will still allow your brain and body to absorb what it needs from the daylight to keep levels to a minimum. The sun is not as important as the daylight, so don’t worry if it’s cloudy, you will still feel the benefit.
Exercise outside during daylight
Exercise can help produce serotonin and melatonin and if you are suffering from SAD, these chemical levels will be unbalanced. Exercise can help that and taking exercise in the daylight will allow your body to absorb what it requires as well.
Invest in a light therapy device
A light therapy device mimics sunlight and sitting in front of it for a few hours a day can help reduce the symptoms of SAD. They are readily available and are not that expensive. Make sure you visit our page first to see if we can help you save money with one of our voucher codes
Eat foods that fight the blues
Dark green leafy vegetables can help decrease symptoms of SAD. Greens such as collard greens, turnip greens, spinach and mustard greens are good. Also, fatty fish which is high in B12 and omega-3 fatty acids decrease depression and help to improve mood.
Speak to your GP
If you have tried all of the above suggestions and you are still suffering from SAD then go to see your GP because you might need additional help such as medication or talk therapy.
Try to remember that these miserable months will pass and our tips above will help you fight those winter blues. Check out our discount codes to save money on your purchases this winter, whether you invest in a SAD lamp, exercise equipment or a new winter coat.