Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) targets many through the winter months but this season has brought another hurdle for sufferers.
The January lockdown has meant that people have been spending more time on their own than ever before and without the consistent glorious weather of the first lockdown which makes the isolation that much harder.
SAD is a type of depression that can be also known as winter depression and is caused by the lack of sunlight affecting a persons levels of melatonin, serotonin and your bodies internal clock being affected by the short amount of daylight hours.
A Nottingham counselor, Alison Calladine gave some insight into the what its like for people suffering with depression and anxiety in these taxing times.
She said: “Clients are really struggling to contain symptoms, a fluctuation between the emergence of past symptoms and new unfamiliar symptoms. Often driven by attempting to live with overwhelming feelings of fear, frustration, anger, uncertainty, the difficulties which social isolation presents.”
Trying to combat SAD may feel impossible but there are a few things that might help to get through these harsh months.
Sunlight and exercise
Getting as much sunlight as possible is crucial to battle the symptoms of SAD and by combining this with exercise which releases dopamine it can help with the unsettling feelings. Heading outside for a run or a cycle is a great way to get your heart pumping or just by wrapping up and going for a stroll in the winter sun and elevating your heart rate could help this winter.
If you are willing to spend a few pennies to help yourself in lock down then a good investment would be a light therapy lamp. Available from many online shops at varying prices. These light boxes produce light that stimulates the sunlight missing from these winter days and encourages your brain to produce the hormones that it is lacking.
They come in different formats including sunrise alarm clocks or light boxes with timers that can be set up next to a working space and our especially useful when sunlight through windows is not available.
Simple acts like eating well, avoiding stressful situations and taking a step outside whenever possible are just little things that can help when battling SAD. While lockdown can feel isolating, communicating with friends and family is key and having a chat and talk things through is extremely important.
While these tips may help some it is not a guarantee, so if you are struggling with your seasonal affective disorder your GP is always available to talk through other options to help combat the winter depression.