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At Health Assured, we’ve seen a 30% increase in calls to our helpline over the winter months.
As the weather gets colder and the days get shorter, you can feel more tired and less motivated. For many people, the winter months can spur mental health problems. Season Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that comes and goes with the change of the seasons – it’s a serious issue and can have drastic effects on mood and productivity in the winter months.
According to recent data, SAD affects around 2 million people in the UK. It’s a major depressive disorder – far more than the winter blues. It has many of the same outward signs as depression; below are some common symptoms to look out for:
The symptoms of SAD vary from person to person, and while the above is not an exhaustive list, it highlights some common symptoms. It’s important to remember that you are not alone in your struggles; many other people are struggling with SAD and trying to find the best ways to cope.
Dealing with SAD can be overwhelming. But there are ways to relieve the symptoms. As mentioned, SAD varies from person to person. So, what works for others might not work for you. When you find something that alleviates symptoms, keep at it. To help with this, we have provided a list of coping mechanisms to fall back on during tough times:
The winter months are often difficult for people who struggle with loneliness and social anxiety. So, it’s important to stay in touch with your friends and family. These individuals play a vital role in protecting your mental health by fostering a sense of belonging and purpose. Whenever you feel low, call up your friends or spend quality time with your family. They’ll appreciate it as much as you do.
The winter months are often difficult for people who struggle with loneliness and social anxiety. It’s essential to stay in touch with your friends and family. These individuals play a vital role in protecting your mental health by fostering a sense of belonging and purpose. So, when you feel low, call your friends or spend quality time with your family. They’ll appreciate it as much as you do.
These small changes might not seem like much at first, but as you make them a routine, you will start to see positive impacts. For example, any physical activity you partake in will release endorphins and raise energy levels. So, when bouts of depression hit, get moving and see if it helps.
Remember that these feelings won’t last forever. Self-care can help you make peace with these negative emotions. It could include mindfulness practices such as meditation, reading a book or catching up with friends. These moments of reflection can help you relax and find space from overwhelming feelings.
Research shows that self-affirmation can lower anxiety, stress and rumination. It is also beneficial for improving academic performance and health. But how do you practice self-affirmation?
Self-affirmation can be a simple process. All you need to do is give yourself constant encouragement. These can be verbal reminders like saying something positive to yourself each morning or physical reminders such as leaving positive notes on your desk at work. When combined, these positive reminders will cheer you up and help you stay motivated.
Counselling is advantageous in many ways, whether it be support given over the telephone or face-to-face. It offers an opportunity to talk to a trained professional about any struggles you may be facing.
A mental health professional can help you understand where these negative feelings come from – and how to get past them. They can also recommend further treatment that is best suited to your needs. These may include cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or light therapy.
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