Winter Blues - 7
ways to overcome it
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
is a type of depression which affects people as the nights get longer and
colder, the days get shorter, darker and gloomier and the weather forecasts get
It is perhaps not surprising that enormous numbers of people
regularly sink into a depression in the autumn from which they do not emerge
until the blossom is back on the trees in the spring.
SAD isn't new.
Hippocrates wrote about patients becoming depressed in the winter two thousand
But doctors have only recently realised just how serious SAD
can be. And it has been established that it is a lack of light that is probably
the main cause.
You could be a SAD sufferer if you answer YES to any of
these simple questions during the winter months:
1. Do you feel tired and
2. Has your appetite increased - and have you started to put on
3. Do you feel unwilling to go out in the evenings - but prefer to
stay at home in front of the TV?
4. Do you binge on chocolate, biscuits and
5. Do you have real difficulty in getting out of bed in the
6. Are you losing interest in life?
If you have answered YES
to any of these questions I suggest that you talk to your doctor. He may be able
to offer specific treatment (such as helping you find a light box from which you
can obtain artificial light treatment).
Here are some techniques you can
use to help you defeat SAD this winter.
1. Eat a good breakfast - fruit
juice, eggs, cereals, wholemeal bread, tea and coffee will all help. At
lunchtime eat foods that give you energy but avoid alcohol. Have a very light
snack in the evening.
2. Try to arrange your commitments so that you see some
daylight every day - get up early or go outside at lunchtime if you work in an
enclosed factory or office all day long.
3. If you feel tired in the daytime
you may need to go to bed earlier - it's common to need more sleep in
4. Get outdoors and exercise at weekends - a good walk will do you an
enormous amount of good.
5. Make sure that light bulbs are powerful enough -
the difference in price between a 100 watt light bulb and a 150 watt light bulb
is very small.
6. Make sure you keep warm.
7. Try to plan a short winter
break - it will be something to look forward to during the dark months ahead,
particularly if you can afford somewhere sunny.