Health & wellbeing

Beat the blues

Suffering from more than just a post-holiday slump? It could be down to SAD – here’s how to feel brighter and more positive this season…

What is SAD?

If you find yourself feeling consistently low, fatigued, or irritable when the temperature drops, you may be suffering from seasonal affective disorder – better known as SAD. It’s a recognised form of depression that some people experience during specific times of year, and it’s especially common in winter when we see less daylight.

Why do I experience SAD?

There is no proven cause of SAD, but it’s thought that a lack of natural sunlight can have a disruptive effect on our body clock. This has been shown to cause tiredness and sometimes even depression. When we suffer with depression, we tend to have lower levels of the mood-regulating hormone serotonin and these levels can drop even further in winter.

How can I feel more positive and overcome SAD?

To beat the blues that SAD brings, there are a few steps you can take. First, get as much natural light as you can, whether that’s getting outside when it’s bright, keeping the curtains open during the day, or using neutral colours in your home to help reflect light. You should also consider making the most of your WW Community and leaning on fellow members for support. If you’re feeling low, why not invite a friend from your WW Workshop or a family member to a coffee date? Reminding yourself that you’re not alone and that help is available can make SAD easier to cope with. And, it’s important to stick to the plan too – exercising and eating healthily has been shown to lift your mood, increase energy, and help ensure you get all the vitamins and minerals you need to feel your best.