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Are you affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)? 5 Top Tips by Angela Molluso

Have you heard of SAD (seasonal affective disorder)? June is finally here for all of us who have dreaded winter arriving. The good thing about this is that we can start counting down the months and weeks until spring arrives. But did you know that the amount of sunlight is a key ingredient to our emotional wellbeing?

The “Winter Blues”, scientifically referred to as “Seasonal Affective Disorder” or “SAD” can cause symptoms such as plummeting energy, weight gain, depression & mood swings.

A Swinburne University Professor of Psychology, Greg Murray, says that “A significant portion of people living in southern parts of Australia, tend to describe themselves as feeling a bit flat and lethargic in winter”.

A bit of lethargy can be quite normal, as there are biological reasons why we as humans are predisposed to being less motivated through the colder months. However, Murray states  “if you notice that your mood is having a marked impact on your ability to function, or it impacts on your thoughts and feelings about your self, then its time to seek help!”

If you think you have been affected by SAD in the past, it is a good time to proactively plan a course of action now.

5 Tips you can consider to begin with:

  1. Essential Exercise

As we know, exercise is crucial to our wellbeing. And for those effected by SAD, exercise can become very difficult to do during the colder months.

So, it is really important to keep up with activities to avoid reaching a diagnosable state of depression. Some ideas are to join a gym during the winter months, start dancing, do Zumba in front of the TV, skip or consider group classes with a personal trainer.

  1. Commit to Social Activities

You may not feel like going out, but making the effort to commit to social gatherings and activities is really important to mental wellbeing. If your friends aren’t that into organizing things, perhaps start a monthly movie or dinner night – whoever can make it comes (even if there’s just 2 of you). Or join a Meetup Group with an activity you enjoy – perhaps you could learn a language, go skiing or hiking.

  1. Find some time to be grateful

Describe 3 highlights for the days that you’ve been grateful for over the dinner table, or reflect on this as you’re going to bed. Even things like enjoying a hot cup of coffee, living in Australia, having a roof over your head, the fact that you can see and hear, own a computer and more, are options if you can’t think of anything else positive that  you’ve enjoyed

  1. Make the most of the sunshine vitamin

Have a tea or lunch break outside when the sun actually does shine through the clouds.Vitamin D is available in very few foods such as some fatty fish like sardines, mackerel and salmon, in some fortified foods and fish liver oils – remember the cod liver oil liquid your mum may have given you as a kid?

  1. Eat more fish

Diet can play a role in alleviating depression, especially consuming adequate omega 3 fatty acids (in the form of fish or fish oils).One recent study compared high dose fish oils with an anti-depressant for moderate to severe depression and had comparable results.

Need more help?

If you feel like talking to someone after reading this article, Angela Molluso is our Clinical Hypnotherapist and Life Counselor. She runs various programs & one-on-one sessions to help you through your emotional wellbeing journey.

Call 93310951 to make an initial appointment, or book a no obligation chat at no cost to you, to ask her how can help you!