In a previous article we looked at what is seasonal affective disorder (SAD). In this article we’re going to share 5 tips on things that may help you manage SAD if you experience should you experience it. 

1. Natural Light 

One theory is that reduced natural light could be a cause of SAD, so it is worth taking opportunities to be exposed to natural light where possible, such as by spending even a short time outdoors during daylight hours every day. Increased exposure to natural light is thought to help reduce symptoms. 

Adding pale colours around your home to reflect light from outside can also help increase exposure to light when you are indoors. 

2. Improve your support network 

As in many cases of low mood, reaching out to an old friend or new acquaintance can lessen the weight of your symtoms. Support groups too can provide you with somewhere to talk with people who are experiencing similar symptoms, and to gain ideas for different ways to manage your symptoms. 

3. Exercise

Exercise and your diet can have a big impact on your wellbeing. Exercise is great for lifting an individuals mood and also increasing energy – don’t forget exercise doesn’t mean going out for a run it can simply mean being active by doing some gardening or going for a gentle walk. Exercising outside also means increased natural light so for those experiencing SAD it is a real win win! 

4. Eat well 

When experiencing SAD, or simply getting through those winter months, it’s likely that you may crave lots of carbohydrates, such as pasta or potatoes. Eating lots of fruit and vegetables - whether fresh, canned, frozen, dried or juice - will help you to feel more energized overall. 

5. Avoid stressful situations 

Plan ahead to allow yourself to make sure bigger changes and events that could be more stressful happen in the summer months when you are better able to manage them. 

Make sure you have time during the winter months to focus on rest and relaxation.

Of course, life events often can't be planned for, so consider resilience training or reaching out for support during the winter.

If you or, someone you care about would like some support, make a referral online or call our friendly team on 020 8525 2301.