SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) is also know as ‘winter depression’ or ‘seasonal depressive disorder’. The symptoms often begin in the autumn as the days start getting shorter. They’re typically most severe during December, January and February. SAD often improves and disappears in the spring and summer, although it may return each autumn and winter in a repetitive pattern.
Most people feel some difference to their mood during the winter months. An increased need for sleep or comfort eating, feeling quieter and and even lethargic are some of the more common symptoms. Some anxiety sufferers have a tendency to witness seasonal affective disorder symptoms and will always feel that their anxiety is worse during the autumn/winter months of the year.
At these times, whether you are a SAD sufferer or a sufferer with a tendency towards similar behaviour, it is important to take special care of your anxiety/depression during these periods.
There are some basic steps that you can take to help:
- Practice Relaxation Techniques
- Practice Distraction techniques
- Have Some Talking Therapy
- Light Therapy/Light Lamps
- Get out of the house during daylight hours as much as possible
Relaxation techniques are used to keep you relaxed. Being relaxed is the polar opposite of being anxious and cannot occur at the same time. Distraction techniques are used to distract you from your thoughts that are bothering you in the short term. Talking therapy can help control and even recover from anxiety.
Light Lamps or Light Therapy has been proven to be effective for SAD sufferers as it mimics the sunlight that the body misses during the autumn and winter months, this may be found effective if you have trouble getting outdoors.