Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Autumn is a wonderful time of the year with changing vibrant colours, crisp days and cool nights.

Although the change of season is magnificent, it also brings a rapid shift in daylight resulting in shorter days which can have a major impact on the well-being of some people.

These shorter days can lead to changes in mood, increased stress levels, sleep problems and depression and these symptoms are commonly referred to as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

The human body was designed to live in harmony with sunlight. We evolved under natural sunlight and we need natural sunlight in order to stay healthy. Sunshine helps in the formulation of vitamin D and also assists in setting biological rhythms.

Many people think that having the winter blues because of seasonal changes is simply something they have to live with but there are many things we can do to offset the effects. (As with any health issue, if you suffer from low mood, you should discuss the options with your GP).

Here are a few suggestions that may help.

  • Exercise: No matter what the cause of your low mood, recent studies have shown that regular exercise can be nearly as effective as antidepressants in treating depression. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
  • Healthy mind & body: You are the sum total of every you eat, drink and think. What you put into your body and your mind will have an impact on your general well-being. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants. Only allow positive thoughts and invest your energy in the positive present moment. Smile and laugh more each day and give something good to others. Most important, forgive everyone for everything.
  • Listen to your body: Get plenty of sleep and don’t over do things.
  • Supplementation: There are a number of natural products on the market that may help with low mood. In a number of clinical studies St. Johns Wort has been found to help with mild to moderate low mood. More and more research is finding a link between low levels of the B vitamins.
  • Holistic Therapies: There are a variety of complementary and alternative therapies that can help. Anything that helps you relax and chill out will have a healing affect on your mind and body. Certain essential oils such as mandarin, bergamot, lavender and basil will have an uplifting affect on your emotions but always blend them first in a carrier oil or cream before applying to your skin.

Embrace our changing seasons and find the beauty in each one. In the words of Monty Python ‘Always look on the bright side of life, da dom da dom da dom da dom da dom’.

Lots of love

Louise x