[FAQ] How To Address Seasonal Affective Disorder

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An article in Safety4sea gives recommendations to minimise the effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

Seasonal Affective Disorder

With the dark nights of winter and the colder days upon us, many people start to feel more lethargic, less motivated and experience lower moods than usual, says UK Club.

Others may suffer these general symptoms, with some describing a need for more sleep, while others experience less enjoyment in hobbies and activities.

In addition, while many people experience low moods during the winter months, others may suffer from a more severe form known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which can have a significant impact on a person’s daily life, impeding their ability to work or to socialise.

What causes Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)?

The conditions of the winter season, like shorter days, colder temperatures and lack of natural sunlight, can have an impact on a person’s energy levels and overall mental and physical health, with the distinct lack of sunlight being a crucial factor.

In fact, natural sunlight is an important element in any healthy lifestyle, being an invaluable source of vitamin D, as well as affecting a person’s serotonin levels and internal body clock.

Vitamin D

The human body uses sunlight to generate vitamin D, which is crucial for absorbing calcium and maintaining healthy bones, teeth and muscles.

Serotonin

This is the hormone that affects mood, decision making, social behavior and other cognitive functions.

Internal body clock

A person’s exposure to sunlight can affect their internal body clock, resulting in fatigue

Minimising the effects of SAD

There are many changes that can be mad to address the effects of SAD during winter, these include:

  • Try to get as much sunlight as possible during the day. If this is not possible, a ‘light box’ that emits light similar to that of the sun can be beneficial.
  • Include more vitamin D in your diet by eating vitamin rich foods, such as fish, oranges and eggs.
  • Try to exercise for 30 minutes a day.
    Where possible, try to avoid stressful situations, and take steps to manage your stress levels.

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Source: Safety4sea

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