I look after my mental health as I do my teeth hygiene and my physical well being. I need time to meditate and do what’s good for my soul as my lifestyle is extremely busy… and if I let some of my responsibilities take over I could end up depressed, but I don’t.
Look after your mental well being as much as your other needs and if you are feeling SAD there are ways of overcoming this.
There are many of us who suffer the winter blues, everything in our body is telling us to slow down and hide under the covers, however for others it can be a more serious problem.
This is called seasonal effective disorder, there is no specific test for SAD but symptoms of this include, sleep difficulties, anxiety, weight gain, guilt irritable and withdrawn and a feeling of dread when thinking about the early dark nights.
Daylight works by suppressing our bodies production of melatonin, this is the hormone that makes us feel sleepy.
There are therapies that can help, talk therapies including CBT which tackles our negative thoughts has been proved to help people suffering from SAD.
People suffering with SAD tend to crave carbs to boost their energy levels, in fact its the total opposite, its recommended that people who are suffering should up their protein intake as its more beneficial.
Exercise is also important, try going for walks in the morning when its daylight exercise is so important for mental health.
Light therapy can help reprogramme the brain. The therapy involves sitting next to a light mimicking lamp which is 10 times stronger than a household bulb.
There is also medication you could take to help, your GP may recommend serotonin based anti-depressants. Meditation and mindfulness are good skills to obtain.
Low levels of vitamin D can contribute towards low mood, so its a good idea to eat more food rich in vitamin D. Foods such as tuna, cheese and eggs also salmon. There are also vitamin D supplements available for health food shops.
Not all of us are lucky enough to have a good family and friend support network around us. I believe support is so important, family and friends keep me sane. So if you do not have a special someone, you can research into support groups for different forms of mental health issues, consult your GP for information about this.
You could build wonderful friendships and someone you meet may just turn out to be the friend you have always wanted.