Many of us reminisce summer days; cloudless cyan skies, the warming touch of the sun and a gentle breeze, only to look out of our British windows and see a mass of grey; the lifeless surroundings being tormented by constant rain and relentless wind. But just because the colour grey defines our British weather, it does not have to be the colour that defines our mood.
SAD, also known as ‘winter depression’, stands for seasonal Affective Disorder. The disorder was discovered by Dr. Norman Rosenthal a South African who found himself residing in New York, and being negatively affected by the endless months of grey. According to Dr. Rosenthal the worst months for SAD sufferers are early December through to late February, due to the lack of daylight. Unlike when SAD was first discovered, it is now widely accepted and consequently multiple treatments have been developed to help you beat your seasonal blues (or should I say greys) and bring a little sunshine back into your life.
Living with SAD can leave you feeling tired stressed and deeply unhappy as if there is no point to anything. But, this is not a feeling you should live with so here are 7 SAD solutions to get you feeling good come rain or shine.
1-Let there be light
Light therapy is a highly effective treatment for SAD. A bright light imitates the sun’s rays and promotes the positive feelings associated with the summer sun. The light comes in various forms from table lamps to wall mounts.
2-Food for Thought
Avoid sweet and simple carbohydrates which cause a sugar high and then a period of irritability, instead limit your consumption of carbohydrates or opt for whole grain complex ones.
3-Fit and happy
Exercise reduces stress and depression, improves your mood and encourages productivity. Therefore being more active counteracts the symptoms of SAD.
4-You are what you wear
Brighten your wardrobe to brighten your mood. Adding a little colour to your outfit can lift your mood as well as provide others with a splash of colour in an otherwise dull landscape.
5-Be a good samaritan
Helping others can help you feel better about yourself. Studies have shown that giving a gift provides a greater satisfaction than receiving a gift. This is known as ‘the helper’s high’.
6-Summer sweet summer
Bring the delights of summer into your home. Get some colour on the walls, bring a room to life with flowers, surround yourself with happy memories by framing your favourite photos, or add decorations that remind you of holidays; for example shells in the bathroom.
7-Sieze a sunny opportunity
Though it may be a rare occasion, when the sun does decide to peek through the clouds and illuminate the sky, step outside, smile and soak up that summer feeling.
Go and paint the town red or yellow or whatever colour evokes happiness for you (metaphorically speaking of course), so a little summer cheer can be brought to your residence and transform the mundane landscape to an artist’s paradise.