SAD (Seasonally Affected Disorder often known as the Winter Blues) makes most people feel generally low although for those who are badly affected it can induce a major depression. Dr Maria Read from the Central Sheffield GP Consortium has the following suggestions:
‘Your body is trying to hibernate for the winter, and while none of us can afford to stay in bed for six months, it's important that you don't completely ignore the signs.
‘It is important to increase your exposure to sunlight so try to get out of the workplace on your lunch break and go for a brisk walk or jog. The fresh air will clear your head, the light will give you a real boost and the exercise will release mood-enhancing hormones called endorphins.
SAD disorder can make you crave carbohydrates and in turn, lead to weight gain. So a balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables and exercise are essential.
Talking to others about how you're feeling also plays a major part in boosting your mood. Keeping quiet and allowing your emotions to eat away at you will only make you feel worse.
In more severe cases of SAD, help can be found at your GP surgery.’
Central Sheffield GP Consortium is a group of inner city GP practices within Sheffield with high levels of deprivation, chronic disease and social need. It works to develop innovative solutions to improve the quality and levels of care within its local community.
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First Published in Febuary 2009
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