Friday, 13 January 2012

Beat those January blues

Christmas and New Year are done and dusted and you’re back to your normal routine. There are no more parties to look forward to, loved ones visiting, or gifts to receive and what’s more, you’ve got to wait another year for it to come around again. It’s no wonder you feel down.

This sadness or ‘glass half empty feeling’ might be due to the end of the holiday season, but it could also be that the environment is affecting your mood. At this time of year, days are longer and lack of sunshine can lead some people to feel depressed. This phenomenon is called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), because people who suffer from it only experience symptoms at a particular time of year. It affects people in different ways - from difficulty waking in the morning, to oversleeping and over-eating, especially carbohydrates, which leads to weight gain. Other symptoms include a lack of energy, difficulty concentrating on or completing tasks, and withdrawal from loved ones and social activities - all of which lead to depression and feelings of pessimism.

So how can you treat Seasonal Affective Disorder? Structure and routine are important and can help you better fight the winter blues. Therefore, whether you feel like it or not, you must make yourself do those things you don’t want to, such as going to the gym.

Another way to combat these feelings is to make your environment brighter. This might involve formal treatment such as light therapy with bright lights or sunlight. By opening blinds, trimming trees that block out sunlight, taking long walks and simply being outside more you can make yourself feel better even when it’s cloudy.

Seasonal Affective Disorder can also be helped using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. If you would like more information, or to book an initial session with one of our experienced practitioners then please contact your local First Psychology centre at the details below: 

Edinburgh: 0131-668-1440,
Glasgow: 0141-404-5411,
Borders: 01896-800-400,

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