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Recent studies show that as many as one in every three of us are affected by SAD syndrome each year. (*)

Seasonal Affective Disorder, sometimes referred to as ‘winter depression’ isn’t yet fully understood, but is often linked the lack of sun exposure.(**) With summer drawing to a close and the shorter, darker nights creeping in a sense of loss is felt by many of us.

Being prepared and creating a plan can be an effective way of tackling SAD, and by using self-help strategies you can build a ‘psychological toolkit’ to help you see into the New Year with optimism and purpose.

  • Self-reflection  – can be a powerful tool for increasing our motivation and uncovering what’s really going on for us right now. Taking time to take a look at our personal goals and the way in which we can achieve them, is a great way to strengthen our desire to progress. Be it health, career or emotional goals you wish to achieve in, making some time to really take note of these desires allows us to address our behaviours, beliefs and our motivations behind them. It ultimately prioritises what we need in order to feel fulfilled.  Try taking some time to sit in a calm and quiet place and jot down the things that are important to you. How are you really feeling? What really matters to you? Being honest with yourself is key.  By talking these feelings through, be it with a therapist, a coach or even a trusted friend we can begin to understand ourselves on a deeper level and become more conscious of the things that aren’t long term beneficial for us.
  • Being Mindful – This can take practice. Whilst some people practise this regularly, others can sometimes require a little extra encouragement to give themselves the care and attention that they deserve. With the pandemic taking over pretty much every aspect of our lives recently it’s become easier to be overwhelmed with the emotions that only seem to have intensified since March. Taking time out to order our thoughts and allow calm to enter our minds can be so beneficial, even for 10 minutes a day. Take a moment to explore the apps designed to help with this (eg Headspace), as some have free trials to plug in to chill out.
  • Regular exercise – With gyms reopening, it’s another step closer to normality and improved mental health but remember it doesn’t have to cost money to feel the benefits; a walk with a dog or a friend is free and easy, download ‘Couch to 5k’ and give running a try or ‘Active 10’ which encourages a pre-set amount of brisk 10 minutes walks throughout the day. Why not take a look at our recent blog on the link between exercise and mental health.

The Eaves has a number of qualified practitioners who specialise in a variety of areas. We can offer remote sessions for those comfortable using technology, but also have face-to-face sessions available. Please contact us on 01483 917000 where our referrals team will be happy to source a suitable practitioner for your needs.

(*) https://www.mind.org.uk/media-a/2952/sad-2019.pdf

(**) https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder-sad/