How to deal with seasonal affective disorder

Asia's Tech News Daily

As the clocks go back and evenings are doused in darkness, we all become wistful for long summer days, before settling into hunkering down for winter. But for around 3 per cent of the population who suffer from depressive moods triggered by seasonal affective disorder or SAD, the approaching months are filled with real despair.  

“The feeling of dread sets in as soon as the days start getting shorter,” says Kelly, 42, from Somerset. “I feel like an entirely different person in the summer compared with the winter.

“In the winter, I become so sluggish and tired that I could sleep all day. I find it difficult to see any joy in anything. Everything seems bleak and helpless. Exercise helps, particularly getting outside in the daytime. It’s hard to get going, but arranging to meet someone is a way to hold myself to account. As soon as the shortest day has passed, I know it won’t be too long until I feel like my energetic self again.”

There is a difference between feeling down because of the weather and experiencing SAD, says Stephen Buckley, from mental health charity Mind. “Many people feel more cheerful and energetic when the sun is shining and the days are longer, but if you have SAD the change in seasons has a much greater effect on mood and energy levels, leading to symptoms of depression that have a significant impact on day-to-day life.”

Although it is not known exactly what causes SAD, steps can be taken to alleviate its symptoms, and i’s experts in mental and physical health, nutrition, exercise and more are here to offer their advice.

Go for a walk in nature  

While the causes of SAD aren’t always clear, we know that a lack of daylight can have a big impact on mood, especially during the autumn and winter months. When light hits the back of the eye, messages are passed to the part of the brain responsible for sleep, appetite, sex drive, temperature, mood and activity.

If there’s not enough light these functions are likely to slow down and gradually stop. The lack of daylight hours may also slow your body clock, making you feel more tired, and increase production of the hormone melatonin, which helps you get to sleep – both things may therefore link to depression.

Going for walks, particularly around midday or on bright days, even if it’s just taking a short stroll, can be effective in reducing symptoms.

Spending time in parks or gardens, or simply sitting near a window can also help.

A light box that creates a bright white or blue light is also helpful to some. However, the evidence for them isn’t reliable and they can be quite expensive, which means they aren’t an option for everyone, so spending more time in natural light is recommended.

While you may not feel like it during the winter, physical activity can be very effective in lifting your mood and increasing your energy levels. It doesn’t have to be anything particularly strenuous – doing housework, gardening or going for a gentle walk can all help. Research shows that outdoor exercise, such as cycling or jogging, can be as effective as antidepressants in treating mild to moderate depression.

Bringing nature into your home can also help, and watering plants can create a feeling of accomplishment that may lift your mood.

Stephen Buckley, head of information at Mind 

SAD symptoms

Reduced energy  

Increased appetite, including carb cravings

Disturbed sleep

Lower sex drive

Thinking problems, such as difficulty concentrating

Mood problems, particularly depression

Eat a healthy, well-rounded diet  

In winter, you might crave comfort foods such as sweets, chocolate, cakes and biscuits. But this way of eating will actually make the symptoms worse. Instead, eat lots of healthy fats, good quality protein, green leafy vegetables, fibre and complex carbohydrates. Try more wholegrain carbohydrates such as brown rice and brown pasta, which include more fibre and nutrients than the white varieties. Try making hearty meals such as a homemade bolognese with a sweet potato or brown rice instead of white pasta, or turkey ratatouille with mixed vegetables, or lean turkey, pure chopped tomatoes served with a mixed salad, or baked salmon with stir-fry broccoli, onion and cabbage.

Holly Zoccolan, holistic lifestyle and nutrition coach 

Load up on vitamins and minerals

Oily fish such as salmon, sardines and mackerel, eaten three times a week, provide good levels of the essential fatty acids EPA/DHA required for a healthy brain. Others with these fats – walnuts, dark green leafy vegetables and flaxseeds – have too little to have a therapeutic effect.

Protein foods that provide a good supply of tryptophan (that converts to serotonin in the brain) are poultry, shrimps, tofu and eggs. But all protein foods supply some tryptophan, so eat a varied diet of meat and fish.

Vitamin D3 must be supplemented by people living in the northern hemisphere, because we do not obtain sufficient UVB rays on our skin in winter convert to vitamin D. Butter, egg yolks and oily fish contain very small amounts, but not the 1000iu D3 that you need daily. Magnesium citrate is a useful supplement. Potential symptoms of low magnesium levels are cramps, constipation and headaches, although there could be other reasons for these symptoms, too.

To know which foods and ways of eating work for you, listen to your body. If you feel sluggish, tired, and not firing all cylinders, then something in your diet is often not right. You may well be missing vital nutrients, your blood sugar levels might not be not balanced or you are consuming too many pro-inflammatory foods.  

Caroline Peyton of Peyton Principles, nutritional therapist and naturopath 

Work on a positive mindset  

Your brain doesn’t know the difference between the narrative you tell it, and reality. If you focus on being miserable and trapped inside, your subconscious mind will focus on that.

Try to spend five minutes at the start of every day writing down or speaking about everything you are grateful for, however big or small. You can’t feel negative feelings when you’re in a state of being grateful, even if it’s just a cup of great coffee or cosy sweater. Repeating positive affirmations will also help to reframe the way you think about yourself and stop negative self-talk.

Stay sociable and connected  It can be tempting to hunker down and hide when the weather outside is bad and it’s dark by 4.30pm, but does that actually suit you?

If seeing friends and family, going to the cinema, sporting events, the theatre and exhibitions or even just heading out for a meal once a week brings you joy, don’t stop in winter.

Pull on warm boots and a good coat and plan a normal social life. Even if you don’t stay out late, having events in your diary will give your days and weeks structure and help you deal with winter. 

Lean into longer evenings

When you do have an evening at home, is there anything you can do with that time that will give you a feeling of accomplishment? It’s been shown that having something new and interesting to focus on wards off symptoms of SAD.

Create photo albums of your summer holidays, redecorate a room in your house or clear out the cupboard that’s become a dumping ground. An hour or two working towards a goal of ticking off jobs from a list will help you to relax and feel like you deserve to spend an evening on the sofa.

Tara Best, neuro-linguistic programming coach and practitioner 

Lighten your workspace

Being exposed to natural daylight is important – especially as many of us continue to work from home or adjust to a hybrid way of working. If possible, try making your working environment lighter and airier by opening more curtains and blinds. Like many people, I have brought a SAD lamp, because the bright light it produces positively affects my mood by lifting levels of hormones and neurochemicals.

Simon Blake, chief executive of Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England, which offers expert workplace guidance and training to support mental health

Practise yoga

How to deal with seasonal affective disorder
© Provided by The i Yoga has a positive impact on our nervous system, because controlled breathing and moving boosts oxygen flow through the body. (Illustration: Mark Long)

Our bodies are designed to respond to changes in our environment. Research shows that yoga has a positive impact on our nervous system, because controlled breathing and moving boosts oxygen flow through the body. It also decreases your cortisol (the stress hormone), decreasing your anxiety and worry levels.  Yoga is something that can be done for as little as 10 minutes. There are so many styles to choose from. Whether you go for vinyasa or restorative, breathing is at the centre of every practice. It can help to cultivate presence, awareness and alignment.  

The most powerful thing you can do is to focus on hip and heart openers, and really release the heart and sacral chakra. Our hips absorb physical and mental stress 24/7, which makes sense as they are located on our second chakra, the sacral, which is the centre of emotion, feeling, and connection. Therefore it is vital that we constantly give them the attention they deserve, the opportunity to release tension, tightness and any blockages.

Think pigeon pose and crescent lunges that enable you to let go of what is no longer serving you, and welcome what does. This helps to remove and release negative energy, worries and fears, so that you can go about the rest of your day feeling rejuvenated, energised and aligned.

Alexandra Baldi, yoga teacher and founder of Compass Chelsea

Listen to music

Music is a powerful tool that can be used to change your mood. Putting on some uplifting music can be an effective way to boost your mood if you are feeling down, particularly when paired with dancing and singing.

Sarita Robinson, deputy head for the school of psychology and computer science at the University of Central Lancashire

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related

OTHER NEWS

QuantumScape Achieved Solid-State Battery Goal Ahead Of Schedule

© InsideEVs QuantumScape battery tech A 10-layer solid-state battery cell prototype has shown battery capacity retention greater than 80% after 800 charging cycles. QuantumScape, a solid-state battery startup, announced earlier ... Read more »

Bielsa hails ‘important point' as Leeds lucky to escape defeat at Brighton

© PA Images Marcelo Bielsa watches Leeds during Premier League match against Brighton at the Amex Marcelo Bielsa is happy Leeds United picked up an ‘important point’ against Brighton at ... Read more »

Thank You, Mr. Sondheim

Photo credit: Walter McBride – Getty Images Good-bye to clocks ticking….and Mama's sunflowers. And food and coffee. And new ironed dresses and hot baths….and sleeping and waking up. Oh, earth, ... Read more »

2022 Toyota Mirai starts at $50,525

The second-generation Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel cell vehicle is heading into its second year on the California market, that being the only state where the sedan can be purchased for ... Read more »

Popular Ancestry DNA kit is almost half off during Amazon Canada's Cyber Monday sale

Looking for more Cyber Monday deals, gift guides and holiday tips? Sign up for Yahoo Lifestyle Canada’s newsletter! Ancestry’s DNA Kit is on sale for Cyber Monday. (Image via Getty ... Read more »

Graham Potter angrily directs ‘history lesson' jibe at Brighton fans after draw

© PA Images Brighton manager Graham Potter pictured before Premier League match in November 2021 Brighton manager Graham Potter has directed an angry jibe at the club’s fans after they ... Read more »

Alfa deluged by sponsor calls since hiring Zhou

© PA Images Guanyu Zhou with hand on heart, Formula 2 Championship. Bahrain March 2021 Fred Vasseur says Alfa Romeo have been peppered with sponsorship requests since Guanyu Zhou was ... Read more »

How to check your K/D in Call of Duty Vanguard

© Provided by Dot Esports “What is my K/D ratio?” is a question that may be as old as multiplayer shooters. In most shooters, your KDR—the proportion between your kills ... Read more »

FIFA 22: How to complete Signature Signings Baku Objectives challenge

© Provided by GamePur As part of its Black Friday celebration, EA Sports released a new promo called Signature Signings. The promo team includes players like Kevin de Bruyne and ... Read more »

All Minecraft Championships (MCC) 19 teams

© Provided by Dot Esports Noxcrew and all of the players attending the next Minecraft Championships (MCC) are leaning into the festive spirit once again, changing team names and other ... Read more »

Impotent Brighton and Leeds must be forward-thinking in January

© PA Images Neal-Maupay-misses-a-chance-for-Brighton-against-Leeds For Graham Potter and Marcelo Bielsa there was little new to learn while sharing the points at the Amex. But a goalless stalemate must have strengthened ... Read more »

Stay healthy in the run-up to Christmas with alternative advent calendars

IF you are on a health kick, the last thing you want is to tuck into chocolate from an advent calendar each morning in the run-up to Christmas. But healthier ... Read more »

Covid crackdown causes festive fear as two Omicron cases discovered in UK

COMPULSORY mask-wearing returned last night in a bid to save Christmas from a super-mutant coronavirus. Boris Johnson ordered the move after at least two cases of the fast-spreading Omicron variant ... Read more »

Dave Chappelle launches fundraising challenge to decide whether his former high school will name its theatre after him

© Kevin Mazur/Getty Images Comedian Dave Chappelle attends 2018 Toronto International Film Festival. Kevin Mazur/Getty Images Dave Chappelle is asking for the public’s input on naming his former high school’s ... Read more »

Serbia: Protesters block roads over new mining laws

© Provided by dw.com Citizens are protesting against new laws they say favor the interests of foreign investors devastating the environment Hundreds of protesters blocked major roads and bridges in ... Read more »

Tony Mowbray reflects on Blackburn progress since humiliating defeat

© PA Images tony mowbray Tony Mowbray was pleased with how his side have bounced back as they came out on top in a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Stoke City. ... Read more »

QPR, Stoke and Blackburn on alert as major update given for John Souttar

© PA Images Hearts’ John Souttar celebrates scoring their side’s second goal of the game with team-mate Beni Baningime Hearts boss Robbie Nielson has revealed it will take a ‘huge ... Read more »

“Nowhere near good enough” – Swansea boss fury at complacent squad

© PA Images Russell Martin Swansea October 2021 Swansea manager Russell Martin did not hold back in his post-match interview following Swansea’s 3-2 defeat to Reading. Despite taking a very ... Read more »

Fulham boss left furious as controversy surrounds Preston draw

© PA Images Marco Silva Fulham Fulham boss Marco Silva was left fuming at match officials after his side conceded late to be held to a 1-1 draw against Preston ... Read more »

Lululemon's Black Friday event is ending soon — shop these in-stock picks before they're gone

Looking for more Black Friday deals, gift guides and holiday tips? Sign up for Yahoo Lifestyle Canada’s newsletter! Lululemon‘s Black Friday specials are still going strong. Yahoo Lifestyle Canada is ... Read more »

Influencer known for her resemblance to Kylie Jenner apologizes for racist comments: 'I'm admitting 100% to my mistakes'

Fyza Ali has come under fire following racist comments she made in a voice memo. (Photo: SoniaxFyza/Instagram) A popular influencer is apologizing after her racist comments leaked online. Fyza Ali, ... Read more »

UK Car Industry Wants Government To Support EV Uptake

© insideEvs.com Copyright Ford E-Transit charging The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) says the right government support is critical. A leading car industry body has called on the ... Read more »

Reports: Italy, Germany report cases of omicron COVID-19 variant

MILAN — Reports: Italy, Germany report cases of omicron COVID-19 variant. Read more »

Nkrumah Bonner says footwork is key to West Indies overcoming spin

© PA Images CRICKET-SRI-WIS-TEST West Indies Nkrumah Bonner believes his team can turn things around in the second Test against Sri Lanka with some adjustments to their technique. Bonner top-scored ... Read more »

Klopp lauds ‘perfect' Liverpool star after ‘exceptional' display against Southampton

© PA Images Jurgen Klopp celebrates after Liverpool win in the Premier League at Anfield Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has heaped praise on Diogo Jota after the forward bagged two ... Read more »

The skarrel is real: How the homeless are forced to eke out a living on Cape Town's streets

Skarreling, as Carlos Mesquita from the Rehoming Collective explains, is ‘whatever activity a homeless person decides upon to earn his or her keep’. © Copyright (c) Daily Maverick , All ... Read more »

This Indie Beauty Sale Is the Best Thing to Shop on Amazon Today

Amazon Indie Beauty Sale Courtesy One of the lessons the pandemic taught us is that if you treasure a small business, you should make sure to support it, lest it ... Read more »

AlphaTauri proud to be ‘free' of driver politics

© PA Images Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda smiling. AlphaTauri’s technical director Jody Egginton has talked up their intra-team dynamics, saying there are no driver “politics”. The Italian-based outfit came ... Read more »

Kaizer Chiefs starting XI: DStv Premiership vs Swallows

© Provided by The South African Ramahlwe Mphahlele of Kaizer Chiefs during the 2018 Telkom Knockout quarterfinal match between Kaizer Chiefs and Supersport United at Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban on ... Read more »

BMW M celebrates 50 years with historic colors, heritage emblem

BMW’s performance-obsessed M division is turning 50 in 2022. It will celebrate five decades of helping BMWs go faster (and win races) by launching a limited-edition heritage-laced emblem, bringing a ... Read more »

'The Voice' Fans Need to See This Shocking Moment Between Blake Shelton and Ariana Grande

Blake Shelton and Ariana Grande might be fierce competitors on The Voice this season, but one revealing moment captured while filming shows that deep down they really do care. Earlier ... Read more »

Candace Cameron Bure and John Brotherton reunite for 'The Christmas Contest' to give fans an 'alternate ending' to 'Fuller House'

© Crown Media Candace Cameron Bure and John Brotherton in “The Christmas Contest.” Crown Media Hallmark Channel’s “The Christmas Contest” provides “Fuller House” fans with an “alternate ending.”  Candace Cameron ... Read more »

Brighton 0-0 Leeds: Wasteful Seagulls let Bielsa's men off the hook

© PA Images Brighton-versus-Leeds-United Brighton & Hove Albion had 20 shots versus Leeds United but they let their opponents off the hook as the Premier League rivals shared the points. ... Read more »

Gerrard aware ‘there is a lot of work still to do' at Aston Villa

© PA Images Aston-Villa-boss-Steven-Gerrard-3 Steven Gerrard has recognised that “there is a lot of work still to do” at Aston Villa even with him winning his first two games in ... Read more »

Owen makes prediction for ‘awesome' Chelsea versus Man Utd

© PA Images Ex-Man-United-and-Liverpool-man-Michael-Owen Ex-Man Utd striker Michael Owen believes Premier League leaders Chelsea will simply be “too strong” for his former club on Sunday afternoon. The Premier League rivals ... Read more »

Warning Covid variant Omicron spreads rapidly, can be transmitted between fully-vaxxed & makes jabs less effective

GOVERNMENT scientists have warned that the new Covid variant spreads rapidly, can be transmitted between fully vaccinated people and makes jabs less effective. The latest caution about the Covid super-strain ... Read more »

Orlando Pirates starting XI: CAF Confederation Cup vs LPRC Oilers – Prediction

© Provided by The South African Abel Mabaso of Orlando Pirastes challenged by Mxolisi Kunene of Maritzburg United during the Absa Premiership 2019/20 match between Orlando Pirates and Maritzburg United ... Read more »

Alfa Romeo give Kimi a fitting factory send-off

© PA Images Kimi Raikkonen in the paddock wearing a mask. Qatar November 2021. With his retirement around the corner, Alfa Romeo have thrown a farewell party for Kimi Raikkonen ... Read more »

Rhulani Mokwena says Sundowns must have zero-tolerance for mistakes

© Provided by Independent Online (IOL) Durban — Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Rhulani Mokwena has insisted that his side must develop a “zero tolerance” approach to mistakes following his team’s 2-0 ... Read more »

Patrick Vieira fuming after Crystal Palace loss, as update given on two important stars

© PA Images Patrick Vieira on the touchline during Crystal Palace vs Burnley at Turf Moor Patrick Vieira gave an update on the fitness of two important Crystal Palace stars, ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic