Some people may be keen to move on from the summer of 2020, but as the days get shorter you might find yourself feeling a little gloomier than normal.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a clinical depression that is bought on by the changing seasons. If you feel down in the winter months, it may be because of SAD.
Here are some tips on how to boost morale if the winter weather is affecting your mood.
Let the light in
Although keeping the blinds down during the long summer days is advised to keep the sun out, in the winter it’s often best to keep them open.
Ensuring you have as much light entering your home as possible can have a positive impact on your mental health.
The NHS recommends lightboxes (that mimic sunlight), saying 30 minutes to an hour per day can be enough to make a difference.
The lack of sunlight will mean a lack of vitamin D, so a good way to tackle the autumn and winter months is to top up on vitamin D supplements. Another way is to amend your diet to ensure you get enough.
The NHS advises that regular consumption of fruit, vegetables, milk and yoghurt will help boost your immune system.
Ensuring you don’t stay inside too much is essential to coping with the winter months. Going on a walk, run or cycle, or even just going to stand outside can be really beneficial.
Keeping active in general can help you stave away the blues, and will allow you to keep your energy levels high and avoid winter tiredness.
Relocate your desk
If you’re working from home, you might want to think about moving your desk beside the window.
Considering most of your working day will be spent during the daylight hours, working next to a window will ensure you will not be kept away from the sun as you work away.
Light up your room
Lighting up your office space and bedroom can be a nice way to lift the mood. In the winter, it can be tempting to hide away in the warmth of your bedsheets, but that may not help your mental health.
Fill your room with as much light as possible. This will help you when you wake up during the dark mornings and help get your ready for the day.
Take inspiration from the Danes
Need some inspiration? Take it from the Danish and adopt the concept of ‘hygge’. It means perfecting the art of creating a warm atmosphere of cosiness through experiences. Danish anthropologist Jeppe Trolle Linnet says hygge can fit well into how people view the winter months.
He said, "Pay attention to each other, give each other quality time, relax together and leave some of the discipline of work and fitness aside."
Those looking to test this out from themselves can try sitting by the fire in cosy pubs and carol singing with friends. Any activity will help as long as you’re doing it with people you love.
If you're struggling during the winter months and need someone to talk to contact Samaritans on their 24/7 phone line on 116 123