Feeling down in the dumps and out of sorts?
Well it’s not surprising with the change in weather and lack of daylight, those long summer nights seem very long ago!
Don’t fear we are all succeptible to SAD.
The lack of bright light in winter is the cause for SAD as bright light makes a difference to the brain chemistry.
The nerve centres in our brain that control our daily rhythms and moods are stimulated by the amount of light entering the eyes. During hours of darkness, the pineal gland starts to produce a substance called melatonin that tells our body clock it’s night.
Bright light at daybreak is the signal for the gland to stop producing this melatonin. But on dull winter days, especially indoors, not enough light is received to trigger this waking up process. Why do you think so many of us attack coffee every morning?!
Right about now is when most people start to feel the affect of the weather.
Although the festive period brightens many up, December, January and February tend to be the most troublesome months. (Only a 1/4 of the year then?!?)
So how do I know if SAD if affecting me??
Have you been experiencing any of the following;
- PERSISTENT LOW MOOD
- LOSS OF PLEASURE OR INTEREST IN YOUR NORMAL DAY ACTIVITIES
- FEELINGS OF DESPAIR, GUILT and WORTHLESSNESS
- FEELING LETHARGIC (LACKING IN ENERGY)
- SLEEP DURING THE DAY
- SLEEPING LONGER THAN NORMAL AND STILL FINDING IT HARD TO GET UP
- CRAVING CARBS AND GAINING WEIGHT
The list is enough to depress you!
But most of us will experience at least a few and pass it off as nothing, it can affect people badly and a visit to the doctors may be in order. BEFORE that though why not try some of the following?
GET MORE NATURAL SUNLIGHT – Easier said than done with the little time available! But if you get the chance get outside for some fresh air and daylight. (Stay outside for your coffee break and walk about).
MANAGE YOUR STRESS – Try not to give yourself extra stress during this period, exercise will help with this!
LIGHT THERAPY – Using a special lamp called a light box, sad lamp or daylight lamp, they simulate exposure to sunlight. You can pick them up from £30 but also fork out £150 if you’re a flush bugger, (mind you it may be as close to summer as you’ll get in Glasgow so it’s cheaper than a plane ticket!) http://www.sad.org.uk/buying-a-sad-light/
TALKING – If you are feeling crappy and down, make sure you tell someone! I don’t mean just telling everyone and anyone your every mood, but those close to you should know if you’re feeling down and just talking about it may help.
VITAMIN D3 – Supplementing with Vitamin D3 can help fight the affects lack of sunlight bring. Vitamin D3 is the only vitamin the body can manufacture from sunlight, so for most of us it may be lacking. Testing by your GP may be required to find out the dosage required for you.
So while you may be feeling the weight of winter and although cold weather is likely to have a lot of us wishing for spring, it’s important not to cast off SAD as an inevitable winter side effect.
Taking action when symptoms hit could make the difference between a lonesome stretch and a happy winter season.
GET OUT AND ABOUT,
LAUGH AND CHAT.
Hopefully the tips included will help to see you through the gloomy winter and into the sunshine of spring. (or as close to sunshine as we get in Scotland).
Keep smiling and stay in the light!
Have a good one guys