Seasonal Affective Disorder

As we head into the Autumn, the darker evenings, the woolly jumpers and frosty mornings, there is an air of anticipation for what is to come (and dare I mention the C word already?). While lockdown has been difficult for so many of us, the weather has been pretty kind with lots of sunshine to be had. What happens when the sun is a little less prevalent, the days are shorter and the light drizzle arrives? I know the thought of darker mornings definitely leave me feeling a little bit lower than normal. I love the autumn but the lack of light I really struggle with. Having recently had a conversation with some friends about SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder I thought I should explore how I can lift myself out of the gloom – literally.

Thanks to the brilliant Happifull magazine, I found so many good ideas on how I can help myself. The most obvious one was to make the most of the light we do have, I run fairly regularly and I have realised its not just the running but the fresh and light that keeps me going. I do think I should be walking more in the Autumn and taking time to look up at the sky!

Taking Vitamin D also helps, this vitamin is talked about so much during the summer but as the sun fades, its still important to keep these levels up. If you are a herbal kind of person,  St John’s Wort has its benefits, while this sounds revolting, as a herbal remedy it aids the symptoms of depression and of SAD too. I’ve had a Lumi alarm clock in the past which was a godsend when I was getting up early to get the train into London for work. To wake up to a natural dawn really helped me feel better about the morning rather than waking up in the pitch black!

What you eat can have a huge impact on your mood, 90% of our serotonin and 50% of our dopamine are produced in our gut. Eating food like oily fish, red meat and egg yolk can help your wellbeing more than you think.

While these are straight forward ideas, if you are worried about someone there are light therapies, talking therapies and also your GP will be able to help too.

So when you’re missing the sunshine and finding it all a bit tough, maybe a walk outside in the fresh air with a big jumper on might just be what you need.