September 1, the start of Autumn and managing SAD (seasonal affective disorder)

ended 01. September 2021

September 1 is a symbolic day, for many the formal start to the Autumn and the time Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) tends to increase.

Though SAD can occur during the summer months, for the vast majority of people it takes grip in the Autumn, as the weather gets colder and the nights draw in.

Coping strategies for SAD

To this end, we asked two Newspagers, Jim Lucas and Dr Shungu Hilda M'gadzah, for their advice on how people should best cope with SAD.

Check out their thoughts below.

SAD can be very real for a lot of people as the nights draw in

2 responses from the Newspage community

"Many people assume that Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is an illness. However, there is scant evidence to support this claim. Sure, we get less vitamin D from the sun, which can leave us feeling sluggish but, fortunately, there are many things people can do to counteract the unwanted effects of seasonal changes. Firstly, it's vital you stay active during daylight hours. If you live in a city, visit the nearest park to get your daily dose of nature. Secondly, stay connected. Summertime makes it easy to be outside with friends after work, but we're less likely to do that in the Autumn and Winter. Isolation leads to feelings of loneliness, so be sure to see people as much as you can. Also, if you spend more time on your own, you can get lost in your head worrying and overthinking. This habit tends to worsen your mental health, so now could be a great time to start practising mindful awareness. Learn to embrace the moment and stay connected with the outside world. SAD needn't be a depressive time in your life. You've just got to adapt and keep doing what makes life worth living."
"Many people will suffer from SAD and this can vary in severity from person to person. Symptoms can be similar to that of depression and especially occur in the Autumn. The main symptoms include feeling unhappy, persistent low mood, and even a degree of hopelessness and despair. However for many it’s nothing to worry about and taking some quick and simple steps can make all the difference. For starters, try getting out as much as possible into the sunlight and, when indoors, sit near a window to maximise the effects of sunlight. Also, learn to manage your stress as best as you can through various strategies such as mindfulness, physical exercise and healthy eating. Together these simple strategies can help most people see off SAD."