5 ways to cope with SAD

Shorter days, longer nights… Are you a fan?

I know some of you might really love this time of year, but most of the people I talk to aren’t great fans.

Neither am I.

And we are in great company! About 2 millions people in the UK suffer from various degrees of Seasonal Affective Disorder (the aptly name SAD). 

The good news is that you can do lots of little things to make you feel happier.

Make the most of whatever daylight there is. 

As I write this, it is getting increasingly dark around me but the sun was shining a couple of hours ago. 

I stepped outside for a minute (a bit too chilly for any longer) and turned my face to the sun (eyes closed of course).

It made me feel so good to see the light and to feel the – relative – warmth of the sun on my skin. 

So, if you can, try and step out for a bit when you see that the sun is shining. 

And even on darker days, it is a good idea to get outside on the daylight rather than stay indoors with only artificial light.

Exercise 

Movement is a great healer when you feel a little bit down or anxious. 

Not only can it snap you out of the low mood you are in, but keeping your body moving is the best way to keep it healthy. And your mental health is closely linked to your physical health.

Yoga is particulary good as it helps you release the physical stress and tension and calm your mind at the same time.

Another great, low impact thing you can do is go for a walk, especially if the weather is beautifully sunny!

Mindset

It can be really hard to feel happy when it is dark when you wake up and dark when you finish working. 

I have noticed that during the winter season, I can sometimes feel low or anxious as I wake up. 

My way out of that is to start repeating positive affirmations to replace whatever negative chatter is going on at the back of my mind.

Anything positive will work. It doesn’t have to be highly creative! A simple “I am happy. I am healthy. I am calm” will do. 

Light up your house

Make your home bright inside to compensate for the darkness outside.

Personally, I like lighting candles and placing fairy lights around the house. It gives my home a warm, cosy yet bright look which really cheers me up.

So, why not spend some time redecorating your house a little by adding some touches of light here and there. 

Always be careful with candles though…

Gratitude

When you open your heart to feeling grateful about the little things in your life, it makes it a lot harder to feel down. 

Every day, make it a habit of ending the day by listing (or writing) 5-10 things that you feel grateful for. 

It is easy during the winter to focus on what you don’t like. Unfortunately, focusing on what you don’t like has probably never achieved very much, except for making you more miserable.

So, try and turn your attention to what is good in your life, to what you enjoy. It will fill your heart with you and make you realise that, even at your least favourite time of year, there are still plenty of things to be grateful for.

And as I write these words, the sun has come out again. That’s going to be on my gratitude list for today!

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