THE clocks have gone back and whilst many look forward to long winter nights cosy by the fire, for many it brings about the onset of SAD. Often referred to as the winter blues, seasonal affective disorder is a type of depression linked to changes in seasons.
Symptoms include feelings of depression, changes in appetite, gaining weight, feeling overly tired and irritable with low energy levels.
It’s more common in women and those living in countries with less sunlight. Although in Spain we enjoy more sun than the UK some people still suffer but there’s things that can help.
Light therapy/phototherapy: Special light boxes expose users to bright light, tricking and boosting mood chemicals in the brain.
Environment: Sitting in a cold dark office all day can enhance symptoms. Try to improve surroundings by opening curtains and blinds to let in as much natural light as possible, bring in a few bright home accessories and spend a few minutes outside soaking up the sun.
Alternative medicine: Some believe these can help such as St John’s Wort, often used in the UK to help treat mild depression. Vitamin D supplements can also help if you don’t get enough sun.
Eat right: Avoid processed and sugary food. Eat fresh fruit, vegetables and fish for essential nutrients that will boost your body and ward off depression.