Some words of advice from our Welfare Officer Sean Williams on managing Seasonal Affective Disorder aka "The Winter Blues".
Winter has set in, Christmas is just around the corner and New Year is on the horizon.
As the days get shorter and colder I thought I would write my little blog on the winter blues or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) as it’s also known.
Most of us are affected by the change in seasons and weather. When the sun is shining (it does happen occasionally) we can feel happier and full of beans, but when winter comes we can find ourselves feeling less cheerful and lacking energy.
For lots of people this is perfectly normal but for some – around two million people in the UK – the change in seasons will have a much greater impact on their day-to-day life. It can affect mood and energy levels and even make people want to hibernate and withdraw from society.
Some common signs of SAD would be an onset of the following during the winter months:
At this time of year these symptoms can be trivialised with comments about being a Christmas Scrooge, but they could be signs that SAD is in play.
First and foremost, if you haven’t already done so then make an appointment and tell your GP about how you’re feeling.
In the meantime, there are a number of simple things you can try that may help improve your symptoms, including:
It can also be helpful to talk to your family and friends about SAD and how this affects you so they can understand how your mood changes during the winter. You can find out more about SAD at www.sada.org.uk.
Finally, I would just like to finish my blog by saying that, Christmas can be an emotional, expensive and difficult time of year and a kind word to someone can go a long way so let’s all look out for each other.
Whilst I have your attention here are some links for people who may be in financial hardship, emotional distress or looking for support services.
0300 123 3393 (Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm)
British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP):
01455 883 300
Senior Chaplain Revd Mark Chester 07717 813 682
As always, don’t be afraid to ask for help, it’s what we are here for. If you are a boater and feel like you may need help, please get in touch with us – you can find your local contact’s details on this map. If you prefer you can contact customer services on 0303 040 4040.
Wishing you the best for the season,
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