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With the clocks going back this weekend, darker, gloomier commutes and working days will be the norm for the next few months. Chartered psychologist Dr Juliet Anton outlines fives ways to help mitigate 'seasonal affective disorder'.
The clocks are due to go back this Sunday and this inevitably means dark, gloomy nights are around the corner. With early nights limiting the amount of sunlight we get, this can have a negative impact on our mood – potentially leading to the mental health problem ‘seasonal affective disorder’ (SAD).
SAD, as most occupational health practitioners will undoubtedly already be aware, is a type of depression that is most commonly known as the ‘winter blues’.
Symptoms of SAD can overlap with symptoms of depression (in other words, persistent low mood, a lack of interest in daily activities and feelings of despair, guilt, and worthlessness).
However, SAD is specifically caused by the cold season, where we experience reduced sunlight and engage in limited activities in order to get through the winter months.
Here, then, are five tips that occupational health professionals can be encouraging employers to be communicating during the dark, winter months.
1. Take in as much sunlight as you can. Whilst sunny weather is a rare sight across the UK in winter, it is still important employees head outdoors and take in the fresh air whenever they can.
Winter weather means that people are less inclined to do any activity let alone go out for a walk but, getting enough vitamin D is important in helping you lift your mood.
Even if the weather is dark, rain is pouring down and you can’t bring yourself to head outdoors, employers should be looking at