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LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION: 3 WAYS TO BEAT SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION: 3 WAYS TO BEAT SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER

Ah, the joys of different seasons. We love the warm summer evenings, the spring flowers and the autumn colours. Unfortunately all pleasures have a price, and the short daylight hours of mid-winter certainly make us pay.

It can be a challenge to see any daylight during the working week in winter. While most of us just get a bit grumpy, for some it becomes a real issue. This is known as ‘seasonal affective disorder’ or SAD. Symptoms can include low mood, over-eating, loss of interest in normal activities and disturbed sleep.

Given that jumping on a plane to somewhere sunny isn’t always possible, here are three other approaches to beating SAD:

1. LIGHTS – BRIGHTEN UP YOUR DAY

Getting that daylight is absolutely essential at this time of year. Find a way to get outside, even if only for a few minutes. Fit in some walking or running at the weekend to get you outdoors.

2. CAMERA – FOCUS ON THE IMPORTANT STUFF

Don’t let the Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) drag you down. Remind yourself that the images of endless parties and glamorous lifestyles are idealised fantasy. You are not measured by the number of party invites you have or how late you stayed out on New Year’s Eve.

Make it all go away. Have a break from social media, don’t watch the ads and take a breath. Look for the good things; the sunrise that you can see without getting up at 5 a.m., the crisp winter air, the warmth of home.

3. ACTION – EAT WELL AND GET EXERCISE

Vitamin D is the key to winter health. We can’t make enough from the natural light in the UK between October and March, so raise your intake of D-rich foods. These include oily fish, eggs and cheese. UK health authorities now say that a vitamin D supplement is a good idea for everyone during the winter.

Getting active is even more essential in the midwinter darkness. Whether it is at the gym or on the run, get moving to boost that mood.

Bring on those longer daylight hours. Here’s to a happy (not SAD) 2017!

 

the author

Jessica Ambrose

Jessica is a fitness writer who loves long distance running, yoga, strength training and healthy eating.

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