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Winter Blues: How Seasonal Affective Disorder Could Be Affecting You
Winter Blues: How Seasonal Affective Disorder Could Be Affecting You
15 Jul 2021

It's not just in your head. There is a reason why you may be feeling low in winter compared to other seasons.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D) is a seasonal mood changer that sees some people feeling depressed at certain times of the year with winter being the most popular season when this happens. 


What are the symptoms of S.A.D?

While some people enjoy a cold gloomy day, it can have an adverse effect on other people. The lack of sunshine and colder weather can bring on S.A.D with symptoms being:

Low energy

Feeling sluggish or agitated

Disturbance in sleeping patterns

Feelings of hopelessness, guilt or worthlessness

Feeling depressed

Lack of concentration

Having thoughts of suicide

Withdrawal from social activities

Change in appetite (eating more or less)

Feeling down now and again is normal. However, it is crucial to see a medical practitioner who will be able to give you an accurate diagnosis if this affects your daily tasks and occurs over a prolonged period of time.


Winter wellness tips to keep you going

Winter is usually the season where most of us would rather stay indoors curled up in bed, but not getting enough sunshine and exercise can contribute towards S.A.D. Self-care is crucial to help you get by, but it is also important to know that it is not the solution to all your problems. Some winter wellness tips that you can include in your routine are doing this such as:


Taking care of your sleep hygiene. Sleep hygiene is a great contributor to how we feel and function which is why it is important to create good conditions within your bedroom that can help you break the spell of insomnia and restlessness. You can also consult a doctor and psychologist if this lasts longer than a few days as this can create health problems. 


Keep on moving. Exercising is not only a good way to stay fit, but it releases endorphins that can leave you feeling good. Getting the recommended 15 - 30 minutes of exercise in will be a mood booster and can improve your health. Make sure to go on walks on sunny days that can contribute to the Vitamin D that your body needs during this time.


Eat clean. This doesn't necessarily mean boiling everything to the point where it tastes like cardboard but cutting back on unhealthy foods that can affect your mood and health. Make sure that you have more fruits and vegetables that can be blended, grilled or steamed. Be creative with your food, without having to rely on unhealthy options.

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Terms and conditions apply. Eligibility, cover and benefits are determined on individual risk profile. MiWayLife is an authorised FSP (No. 45741) and its product offering is underwritten by Sanlam Life Insurance Limited, a registered long-term insurer. MiWayLife is a division of Sanlam Life Insurance Limited - Reg No. 1998/021121/06