Winter Blues – beat those low feelings

What you can do if you are feeling low and depressed

Winter Blues or Seasonal Affective Disorder

Getting fed up with the rain and long dark days? At this time of year, it is clear that many people feel the effects of short days filled with dark grey gloomy weather. But maybe you feel that you are experiencing more than the ‘winter blues’. Maybe you have noticed a pattern, and you know that those low feelings are taking over your life. If you are unsure of how to get out of the rut, feeling constantly low and sapped of energy, here are a few tips for SAD sufferers (Seasonal Affective Disorder). 

​Did you know it is estimated that about 1 in 32 people are diagnosed with SAD.  The signs of SAD are closely related to the signs of depression with feelings of being lethargic, having anxious tendencies, mood changes and disturbed sleep patterns (either sleeping too much or indeed not sleeping). In the past, when diagnosed with SAD it was always suggested that the low feelings were connected to a lack of sufficient sunlight. However, research by Professor Kelly Rohan at the University of Vermont suggests that SAD sufferers cannot just rely on light therapy to improve their depressed feelings and that use of therapeutic input can have a longer lasting impact. Therefore, a range of suggestions are recommended which includes seeking therapeutic treatment. This will provide a more holistic approach, and will offer solutions on a longer term basis for the SAD sufferer.

Seeking treatment
Treatment can include a range of things from light therapy to a therapeutic input using tools from CBT, hypnosis and NLP.

Exercise
Taking part in any exercise is a great way to increase happy hormones, endorphins, but doing your exercises outside is even better as it also allows you to absorb natural sunlight and fresh air.

Diet
Making sure you eat and drink as healthily as possible. In particular avoid excessive drinking since this creates a vicious circle. An example being that you disrupt your sleeping and this in turn makes you feel gloomy because you are running low on resources.

Reducing stress or even avoiding stress
When you get rid of stress, you reduce feelings of being overwhelmed and low. Again, a therapeutic input can be especially helpful in this area, as you will learn how to respond more positively to stressful triggers in your daily life.

Being sociable
Just keeping in touch with friends and family improves your mood, it is good to talk to others, sharing thoughts and feelings as well as giving and receiving support.

Looking after yourself is an important part of ensuring you are able to cope with the changes occurring in your life. How we cope positively with changes is linked to how we think and behave, and if this is negative then you can learn how to amend both your thoughts and behaviour. After all, it is about allowing you to adopt a more positive outlook from utilising various resources available to you to overcome any low feelings you may be having.

By Tina Elven

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