Seasonal affective disorder

The winter blues are common and affects people of all ages.   This post is all about Caring and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), we hope it will build awareness and provide some help this winter.Caring and seasonal affective disorder

Seasonal Affective Disorder affects many people, especially during the winter.The symptoms include:

  • persistent low mood
  • loss of pleasure or interest in normal everyday activities
  • irritability
  • feelings of despair, guilt and worthlessness
  • feeling lethargic (lacking in energy) and sleepy during the day
  • sleeping for longer than normal and finding it hard to get up in the morning
  • craving carbohydrates and gaining weight

For some people, these symptoms can be severe and have a significant impact on their day-to-day activities.  It is thought that a lack of sunlight might stop a part of the brain working properly and impacting on certain hormone levels.  For those whose syptoms are so bad that they can’t live a normal life, they should seek advice from their GP.

Caring and Seasonal Affective Disorder

Detailed below are some tips which may help with Caring and Seasonal Affective Disorder including how to help combat it.

Keep active and go outside

A daily walk can help people to cope with the winter blues.  Going outside, ideally in the middle of the day and on brightter days helps to maximise the amount of natural light.


Being cold may make people feel depressed, so keep warm by wrapping up, as well as drinking hot drinks and eating hot food.  Aim to keep your home warm, at least 18C and 21C.


A healthy diet gives you more energy, boosts mood and can help you to avoid putting on weight over winter. Cravings for carbohydrates should be balanced out with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables.


An effective way to combat Seasonal Affective Disorder is often to use a light box.  The box give out a very bright light, the idea is that you sit in front of the light box for 30 minutes per day.  They are not available on the NHS but can be purchased privately relatively cheaply.Alternatively, perhaps try to sit near a window.  Chosing pale colours on the walls or using mirrors may help to reflect light from outside.

Try something new

Taking on a new interest can give you somehting to look forward to and to think about as well as keeping your mind active.

See loved ones

Spending time with other people is good for mental health.  Make an effort to go and see the people you care about more often.
Click here to learn more about Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Please click here for our contact details if you would like to speak with our team about how we can help you or a loved one combat the winter blues.

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My grandparents Dorothy & Ivan (Gus) Gardiner established Gardiner’s in 1968. Dorothy & Gus were very inclusive and ran Gardiner’s as a family business – my mother, uncle & aunt have all been involved with managing the business. Read More