Thursday, September 28, 2023

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Tips to beat SAD this Winter

South Africans living in the UK often battle in the winter months with the shorter days and lack of sunshine. We are used to soaking up the sun at this time of the year back home.

Many are prone to feeling down at this time of the year and may suffer from SAD, Seasonal affective disorder. A type of depression that often arises in the winter. SAD can cause a low mood, loss of pleasure and interest in daily activities, lack of energy and generally not wanting to get out of bed.

The exact cause of SAD is not completely understood but it is linked to reduced exposure to sunlight during the winter months.

Here are a few ideas to try to help lift your mood

  • Get as much natural sunlight as possible
  • Get regular exercise, a short walk everyday will do the world of good. Aim for 30 minutes a day
  • Put on your favourite music and dance
  • Open blinds, curtains to increase the amount of natural light in your home
  • Get a lightbox or lamp that simulates natural sunlight to brighten up your mood
  • Darkly painted walls can add to the dullness, repaint a lighter shade
  • Make the effort to get out and meet friends for a catchup
  • Join a club, take a course and meet new people
  • Watch funny movies or video clips to make you laugh
  • Involve the family in a games evening
  • Eat correctly with well balanced meals and lots of fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Do something you enjoy everyday, whether it’s painting or working on the car
  • If work is overloaded and you are under pressure take measures to minimize your stress
  • Talk about how you are feeling with friends and family

If you’re struggling to cope please consult your GP who can carry out an assessment.

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