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Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

As we head into winter, days get shorter and the nights get longer. This means less visibility and extended periods of darker evenings. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a form of seasonal depression that influences all of us differently.

There are certain seasonal changes throughout the year that may affect our emotions. SAD symptoms commonly begin in the fall and follow through into the winter months. It affects us all differently as individuals. Some of us might be influenced a little more than others. During winter, you may find yourself feeling fatigued and expressing different emotions more than usual. It’s important to acknowledge these behaviors. If you’ve detected these changes in emotions and moods, you may be suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Symptoms of SAD

  • Oversleeping

  • Social withdrawal

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Experiencing changes in weight or appetite

  • Feeling sluggish or agitated

While this is not an exhaustive list, these are some key indications that you are being affected by the bleaker winter evenings. Being affected by SAD is a lot more common in Ireland than you think. An article from EchoLive has found that 1 in 15 people suffer from SAD particularly from September to April. During the festive periods of winter, it’s no secret that being surrounded by love ones and socialising with friends helps us feel warm and tight knit. Depression and being affected by seasonal versions of it however, can strike us at anytime. Coping with SAD So, what are some things we can do to ease the effects of SAD? Let’s have a look.

  • Stick to a schedule

As we stated before, oversleeping is one symptom of SAD. Everyday Health states that selecting a preferred time and sticking to it is important. Having a regular sleeping timetable help signs of seasonal depression. So, figure out which time is best to get into your bedtime routine. Once you’ve found your perfect bed time, make sure to follow this consistently to allow your body and mind the time it needs to rest so you’re ready for whatever the next day brings.

  • Move your body

Seriously, get moving! Let’s start with exercise. It releases endorphins. Endorphins are chemicals created by your body to relieve stress and pain. Exercising is one of the most powerful tools you could do to release these endorphins. You could have a quick 5 minute home workout or you could go for a stretch. Go on, give it a shot!

  • Write it out

Take a few minutes out of your day to find a piece of paper. Allow yourself to reflect. Whatever thoughts float into your mind and whatever emotion you sense, write them all down. Journaling is an activity that can do wonders for your mental health. It helps you to analyse both, positive and negative situations in your life. It also helps you to be in-tune with your emotions and to be self-aware of how you’re feeling. Most importantly, its a method for all of us to let out all the emotions we’ve built up without judgement.

  • Socialise

Given a world now with COVID, when opportunities arise to socialise, make the most of them. If there are any activities or events coming up that you fancy, why not invite a family member or a friend? If you aren’t the type to seek out events, keep it simple. A quick and great idea is to go for a walk at your local park. Another one to get you socialising is a candid phone call. Whether it’s a five minute chat or an hour long conversation, keeping in touch is always important. You could also try FaceTime, you can virtually speak face to face with your loved ones. To make things more interesting, you could try a game night with loved ones with FaceTime or a zoom call.

At Kare Plan, encouragement is one of our core values. That’s why we encourage anyone reading this to always reach out to friends and family for strength and support when you’re not feeling one hundred percent. If you’d rather an anonymous conversation, we’ve provided numbers you can contact. No pressure, feel free to chat with them at anytime.


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