Now with the days getting shorter, evenings darker and temperatures colder many of us may experience an increased feeling of tiredness, low mood and lack of energy.
We may feel much less energetic than during summer months when the sun is shining bright and lively colours of nature cheer us up every way we go.
We may find it so much harder to motivate ourselves to get out and about, especially this time of the year when sofa and a warm blanket seem so much more appealing than ever.
What is SAD
However, for some people it might get worse than that.
- They might feel irritable, anxious, tearful, lethargic and completely overwhelmed by the feeling of sadness. –
- They seem to stop finding pleasure in any activity and turn to functioning as if on an ‘automatic’ mode or even sometimes not being able to function normally at all.
- They would struggle to get out of bed every morning and constantly feel tired and sleepy regardless of how many hours they slept during the night.
- They would also find it extremely challenging to face up to the challenges of a daily life to the extend that it may affect their jobs and relationships.
This is called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and affects 1 in 3 people every year. According to the NHS it is a form of depression that comes in a seasonal pattern and affects people only during wintertime, lasting till spring and may be very disrupting and annoying.
Fortunately, there is many ways that you can help yourself when affected or even prevent it from happening at all.
However, if you think you might be suffering from SAD you should consult your GP as they will be able to recommend the best possible treatment for your and current state of health. You can read more about SAD and how it affects our life on the Independent website.
How to prevent and treat SAD
When preparing myself to write this article and researching the treatments available I went to the NHS website to learn more about the condition and treatments. What I found is that SAD should be treated as a form of depression and that there are several treatments available. These are:
- talking therapy such as counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
- light therapy, when a special lamp is used to simulate the exposure to light
- antidepressant medication
However, the first and foremost are lifestyle measures:
- getting as much natural light exposure as possible,
- managing stress levels and, last but not least,
- and last but not least, EXERCISING regularly.
How exercise can make you feel better
Exercise is a powerful tool to elevate your mood according to Science Daily.
When done regularly, it has been proven to effectively treat and prevent depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions.
It does not only make you strong and fit but also greatly improves the state of well-being which in turn leads to better mental health. In other words, when your body is happy, your mind seems to feel similar way. The reason for this, among others, is that when you exercise, your brain undergoes chemical changes and produces more endorphins, the hormone that gives you the feeling of happiness.
What is more, exercise can also effectively boost your confidence and self-esteem. When you make it a habit, you start to feel like you have more energy for daily activities, you notice how your physique is changing and start to feel more in control of yourself and your life which starts to seem much more enjoyable.
Ealing Fitness Clinic can help
Ealing Fitness Clinic have already helped several clients suffering from SAD. We are a specialised gym that provides personal training, osteopathy, sports massage and sports nutrition services to people with sports injuries but also for everyone that needs a little bit of help to stay on track with their fitness.
We can provide you with that extra support you need to start off on your journey to fitness and help you make it a part of your life. We will also give you professional advice on nutrition and lifestyle changes you need to make in order to be more fit both physically and mentally.