5 Ways to Beat SAD This Winter

Monday, 17 December 2018



Whilst Christmas might be just around the corner, it doesn't take away from the fact that this time of year can be pretty tough for a lot of us. We wake up and it's dark, go home and it's dark, it's constantly freezing cold and the sun is nowhere to be seen. It's definitely a far cry from the glorious summer we had mere months ago.

Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, as it is most commonly known, affects around one in 15 people in the UK alone every year, between September and April. Caused by lack of sunlight and Vitamin D, SAD saps the life out of many of us during the winter months. It leaves us feeling down, depressed, unmotivated and lethargic. It's also known as 'winter depression', which basically sums up the effect it has on many of us.

I definitely feel it at this time of the year - as much as I love getting cosy with a hot chocolate and curling up in front of the TV, the chilly weather and near-constant darkness definitely affects my mood. I suffer with depression on and off as it is, but during the winter it definitely takes a turn for the worst. I know a lot of you guys must feel the winter blues too, so I thought I'd put together a few tips for beating SAD this winter.

Exercise 

I know - especially with Christmas on the way (the season of being lazy, am I right?!) - exercise is probably the last thing you have on your mind. And I totally feel you - exercise used to be something I hated. However, after regularly going to the gym I've realised just how much of a mood boost it is. Whilst it can be pretty difficult to get the motivation to go, once I'm there and once I'm home I feel so much happier. I can go from feeling really low beforehand to dancing around the kitchen afterwards - it's honestly a little miracle worker. Whether it's a brisk walk with the dog, a trip to the gym or an exercise DVD at home - get moving and I promise you'll start to kick those SAD symptoms. 

Keep Busy

December can be a really lonely month for a lot of us - everyone is busy seeing family for Christmas or skint from all the presents they've been buying, and when it's so gloomy and unappealing outside it can be easy to stay cooped up inside and cut yourself off from people. It's so important to keep in touch with friends during the winter though - meet up for dinner, join a class, go for a hot chocolate or venture out on a Christmas shopping trip - getting out and keeping busy will have you feeling so much better than staying cooped up inside. 

Get a Good Night's Sleep

Sleep is one of my favourite things in the world, but it's something lots of us take for granted. It's also so important at this time of year, when we're feeling so tired and lethargic as it is. Sleep issues are really common with those suffering with SAD - lots of us oversleep, or take naps, leading to poor quality sleep which in turn just makes us feel even more tired and grumpy. Have a good bedtime routine and avoid taking naps if you can - instead, turn your bed into a haven of relaxation at nighttime so that you get the best quality sleep, and the right amount (around 8-9 hours) when you should. It's vital to invest in a really good quality mattress and pillow so that you get the best sleep you can (it makes such a difference), and you'll wake up feeling a million times better. 

Embrace All Things Hygge

While it's important to get out and about and keep busy at this time of year, it's also great to embrace all things "hygge" and cosy when you are at home. Light some candles, grab a good book and a chunky blanket, turn your phone and laptop off and just enjoy it. The Danish swear by it to boost happiness, and I can totally see why. Bonus points if you have a log fire to snuggle up in front of! 

Light Therapy

Another great option for SAD sufferers is light therapy. Whilst it sounds a tad scary, it isn't at all - it basically means investing in a special lamp or light box which simulates exposure to sunlight, so your mind is tricked into thinking it's getting the light it needs. There are countless lamps on the market, and many people swear by them to get them through the winter months.

Do you have any tips on beating SAD? Let me know!

*This post is in conjunction with TEMPUR® but all thoughts are my own.*