For some people the 21st December is the key date in December – it is the shortest day. From that day onwards the days start to get longer again, spring and summer are on their way. You see I suffer from SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder and the 21st December is always a milestone on my journey through this time of year. However, rather than sitting around waiting for this key day there are things that one can do to help oneself and here are some suggestions to get you started.
• Get as much natural sunlight as you can.
• Exercise during the day outdoors, even if it is just a walk around the block – this can help to lift one’s mood.
• Avoid too much stress. This is sometimes easier said than done, so recognise when you need to say no or when you need to stop and make sure that you make time for yourself.
• Try sitting near the windows when you are indoors to make the most of natural daylight.
• Eat a healthy balanced diet. There is a tendency to crave more carbohydrates and sweet things so include citrus fruit and leafy green vegetables in your diet.
• Some people find using a light box which mimics sunlight particularly helpful to wake up to.
• Make sure that you talk to your family and friends about SAD and how you feel during the winter so that they can help to support you.
• If you find that your SAD is difficult to manage, or you feel particularly depressed then talk to your GP. It is important that you get the right sort of help, care and treatment.
To find out more about Seasonal Affective Disorder click on this link to the NHS website: https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder-sad/overview/
If you feel you need more urgent help please text MRF to 85258 to connect with a trained SHOUT volunteer via text or for other sources of advice please go to the Find Help section on the Molly Rose Foundation website.