Do you ever find yourself unexplainably sad in the middle of the day for no reason? You might have woken up feeling a little down, or had a really good morning but come 3pm you’re feeling a little blue and all you want to do is put on The Notebook and have a good cry. There is a perfectly reasonable explanation for that.
When it’s cold, dark and miserable, many people find their moods drops – I certainly find this happens to me. You may find it most common to feel this way after several days in a row without sunlight; it’s incredible what that cheeky little vitamin D does to our mood without us realising. Now, while this can just be a case of the winter blues for some people, for others there is something much deeper happening to them. You may be suffering from SAD.
Seasonal affective disorder (also known as SAD – suitable, right?) is a clinical condition which affects your mental state. According to this article by Women’s Health you may feel depressed most days, if not every day, have low energy, feel sluggish or agitated, have issues sleeping, or feel hopeless or guilty. This is just naming a few symptoms; there are many others you may experience. It is important you notice and record these symptoms in case you need to seek professional help.
The best cure I have found for winter blues is to find (and soak in) the sunlight. Look for any sunlight in your house or outside and just sit in it for a little bit. Feel the warmth on your skin and remember winter is only temporary and it’s very natural to feel sad when you’re deprived of the sunlight for extended periods of time. Light therapy is actually used as treatment for those suffering from SAD so it is well worth a shot even if you haven’t been diagnosed with it.
If you find this doesn’t improve your mood and your depression is quite regular, especially during winter, please ask for help or go see a medical professional.
Remember you are not the only one feeling down this winter. I can guarantee if you just ask one family member or friend if they ever feel sad for no reason in winter, you’ll get a yes. We just have to understand our body and moods and recognise when it might be something more serious.
Look after yourself this winter.