People who experience SAD only do so at times when there is less light. More commonly we refer to this as the ‘winter blues.’
SAD differs to other mental health disorders in that people suffering from SAD are not affected during other times of the year.
Common symptoms include difficulty concentrating, fatigue, increased levels of stress, disrupted sleep, low energy, and generally feeling a little “down.”
Here are some tips to make you feel happier and more grounded during these cold and cosy months.
- Make your environment brighter and “sunny!” Paint your bedroom in a warm and cheerful yellow, buy a bright bedspread, replace any dark curtains with light and airy ones, play music with summer vibes, buy fresh flowers, or make your own bouquet of leafy branches…
- Furnish your house with indoor pot plants, and perhaps even paint the pots!
- Rug up and open all doors and windows. Letting in the light and the fresh air will do wonders to how you feel inside your living space.
- Make a “happiness altar.” Choose a little spot in your bedroom, living room, office and collect things from nature to display in a creative way. Think driftwood, a tray of sand, some dried flowers or herbs, stones, shells, bark and moss, pinecones etc. You could even float a tea light in a glass bowl at the centre. Allow yourself some time to sit at your altar every day, and perhaps meditate or reflect on the things for which your are grateful.
- You knew this was coming – exercise! Get some daylight every day, even if it’s just a small walk outside during your lunch break.
And remember to celebrate Winter Solstice on June 21st – from now on the days are getting longer and before you know it we’ll be celebrating spring!
– Ronja Skandera