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Don’t be SAD this winter

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Most of us experience that gloomy feeling that comes around every winter as the cold sets in, and days grow shorter and darker. However, for some this feeling is more prolific than for others, and can actually lead to a strain of depression; Seasonal Affective Disorder, more commonly referred to as SAD. What may be mistaken for the classic winter feeling of gloom could, in fact, be something more serious.

The science behind this disorder is fairly simple, and relates to the modern way of life and how it is fairly unnatural for our bodies and body clocks to adjust to without potential problems or complications. With 90% of people now working in an indoor environment such as office jobs, during winter it can easily fall that those working inside do not step out into natural daylight unless they make a concerted effort to leave their offices at lunchtime; something that does not always appeal in the depths of winter. For those who work full time, weekends are the perfect opportunity to go outside and benefit from some natural light in the daytime, but due to the growth in TV and internet entertainment, people are less motivated than ever to go outside and find activities to do in the fresh air.

Without exposure to natural light, our bodies circadian rhythms fall into defect. Our circadian rhythm is essentially our body’s internal clock; what tells us that it’s daytime, and night time, and provides us with ‘light cues’ which tell us when we are in need of daylight.

We’ve compiled a list of signs and symptoms to look out for that may indicate that someone is suffering from SAD:

  • constant feelings of tiredness and lethargy, with a lack of energy and no drive or ability to carry out everyday routines
  • increased levels of anxiety, and difficulty coping with previously non stressful situations
  • a loss of libido, and a lack of interest in physical contact
  • difficulty sleeping, with increased tiredness during the day but simultaneously experiencing disturbed, sleepless nights
  • general bad mood, and social difficulties such as wanting to spend a lot of time alone, feeling irritable and being short-tempered
  • feelings of depression and despondency without any real reason for them
  • increased appetite, with particular cravings for carbohydrates, sweet sugary foods and extremely salty foods, leading to weight gain

If these symptoms match up to how you or someone you know is feeling at present since the turn of the season, it could well be that you or they are suffering from SAD. However it is important to always consult a doctor if you have any irregular feelings or symptoms like these, as it may be something different to and more severe than SAD, and will therefore require different treatment.

Here are some simple suggestions of how to combat SAD this winter:

  • Exercise is incredibly effective in boosting your mood by increasing the flow of oxygen to the brain and the rest of the body. As well as this, the positive effects you will see in your appearance with a bit of exercise are enough to cheer anyone up.
  • Make your rooms brighter and warmer, by changing the colour scheme to simple creams and whites with light wooden furniture and warm earthy colours for your upholstery.
  • Light therapy lamps are an added measure, and can be sat beneath for half an hour each day to provide your body clock with the light it needs to regulate its circadian rhythm.
  • Invest in blinds or curtains that let in streams of light during the day, or double glazing for your windows, so you can ensure your home is kept warm whilst still letting in the light. Ensure all curtains, blinds and windows are kept clean, also, to maximise the amount and intensity of the light flowing into your home.

At Windows Direct, we are committed to helping you and your family adapt to each and every season in a smooth and hassle-free fashion by choosing the right window fittings to suit your requirements. For more information on our services, contact our friendly team today – we’ll be happy to help.

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