How to beat the January blues

Experts have warned that the post-Christmas anti-climax is a real issue; naturally, January is associated with starting back at work or having a low bank balance. As a result, it is understandable that this could lead to people experiencing a change in their mood and well-being. 

Due to the colder months, these winter blues have been associated with a medical condition called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), throughout the month some people may feel a little down, while others may experience depression.

Dr Laura Ryan, a Medical Director at the NHS, said: “Symptoms of SAD can include persistent low mood, a loss of pleasure or interest in normal everyday activities, irritability and feelings of despair, guilt and worthlessness. There can also be a tendency to eat more.

“Although winter can be a very busy time of year, it is very important to remember to take some time for ourselves and invest in our wellbeing.

“There are many things we can do that can help lower the mood. Not every method will work for every person, but it’s worth trying a few until you find something that helps.”

The following tips to avoid SAD have been recommended by the NHS:

Sunlight – The NHS revealed that it is important to get as much natural sunlight as possible, whether this means spending more time outdoors or increasing the amount of light into the home.

Exercise – partaking in regular exercise is another way to avoid SAD, as well as, eating a healthy well-balanced diet to provide the body with the energy it needs to keep active during the day.

Reduce stress – the NHS has warned that stressful situations should be avoided and individuals should actively be taking steps to reduce the risk of experiencing SAD, such as meditation.

Talking – Could be particularly helpful, so that others around you can understand any particular mood changes to look out for and consequently offer their support.

In addition, the NHS recommends having cognitive behavioural therapies or counselling if you think you might have SAD or are struggling to cope.

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