is a type of depression that occurs at a specific time of year, typically during the autumn and winter months when there is less natural sunlight. It’s characterised by symptoms such as low energy, mood changes, and a lack of interest in activities that you’d normally enjoy. If you or someone you know is experiencing SAD, there are several strategies and psychological approaches that can help alleviate symptoms and improve mood:
Light therapy, also known as phototherapy, is a common and effective treatment for SAD. It involves exposure to a bright light source that mimics natural sunlight. You can use a lightbox designed for SAD treatment for about 20-30 minutes each morning to help regulate your body’s internal clock and improve mood.
CBT is a form of psychotherapy that helps individuals identify and change negative thought patterns and behaviours. It can be effective for managing SAD by addressing the negative thought patterns and behaviours associated with the disorder.
Regular Exercise: Engaging in regular physical activity can boost mood and energy levels. Even a short daily walk can make a difference.
Healthy Diet: Eating a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can support your overall well-being.
Sleep Hygiene: Maintain a consistent sleep schedule and create a sleep-friendly environment.
Stress Management: Practice stress-reduction techniques such as mindfulness, meditation, or yoga to manage stress.
Stay connected with friends and family. Socialising and seeking support from loved ones can help combat feelings of isolation and loneliness, common in SAD.
In more severe cases, your G.P. may recommend antidepressant medications to help manage SAD symptoms.
Mindfulness meditation and relaxation exercises can help reduce stress and improve mood. They can be especially helpful when incorporated into your daily routine.
Engage in activities that you enjoy and that give you a sense of purpose, even when you don’t feel like it. Having a schedule and planned activities can help combat the lethargy associated with SAD.
When possible, spend time outdoors during daylight hours. Even on overcast days, natural light exposure can be beneficial.
Writing down your thoughts and feelings can help you gain insight into your emotional state and identify patterns related to SAD. It can also be therapeutic to express your emotions.
If your symptoms are severe or interfering with your daily life, consider seeking professional help. Remember that SAD is a treatable condition, and with the right strategies and support, you can manage its symptoms and improve your mental well-being. It’s essential to consult a healthcare professional or mental health provider to determine the most suitable treatment plan for your specific situation.
As an ex-athlete I’ve always advocated the benefits of keeping in shape physically, but it’s just as important to look after your mental wellbeing. Book a session with Wendy, she’s the person to help you look after your brain just as you would your body.
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Beauty, lifestyle and fashion blogging sensation Becky Sheeran (TalkBeckyTalk)
It’s great to have a leading psychotherapist such as Wendy in the Cheshire area, outside of her Harley Street practice. After publicly raising awareness of mental health issues and myself recovering from depression, I know how immensely life-changing expert intervention can be.
Retired ex-professional football who played for Bury, Wigan, Stoke, Preston, Norwich, Leicester and Brighton during a 14 year career. After leaving professional football, Jason battled depression and recovered with the help of therapy and family support.