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Feeling SAD? Turn on some lights, it may lift your mood

SAD (seasonal affective disorder) happens when the days get shorter. The lockdown and Covid situation doesn’t help either.

Many New Zealanders may be having tougher sleeps due to the stress of COVID-19 but another factor may be altering your mood – the shorter days with decreasing sunlight, the cooler weather and clearly the fact many of us are not socialising as much as before.

The lack of energy, the struggle to wake up, the general feeling of flat and down may be coming and going across the day. You may be suffering from SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder. SAD is quite normal to experience when our nights get longer and the days shorter.

For most of us, experiencing SAD is only mild and we cope with it just fine. But for others the gloom of darker days can really affect you mentally in crippling ways, especially if it makes other issues (um, hello, a lockdown for example!) feel even heavier and darker. SAD can be a serious issue for some people, even here in New Zealand which isn’t typically impacted by SAD compared to other nations (some nations in the Northern Hemisphere have little to no sunlight in their winter months).

Like depression, SAD can affect how you feel and behave for days, weeks or even months. But you can do easy things to help yourself feel better 🙂

You should not ignore SAD, as it can be effectively treated. Click here to read more from the Mental Health Foundation on dealing with and understanding SAD.

For most of us, turning on extra lights can make a really big difference. It’s called Light Therapy. The few extra cents or dollars it may cost may be some of the cheapest and most effective therapy you can get for this – especially these days with low cost, low energy lightbulbs. Put lights on during the day if it’s feeling gloomy – the room you’re in, the room you frequently walk in (like a hallway). If it really helps you, it may not be considered ‘a waste of power’.

Also, get some fresh air and sunlight too. But – easier said than done sometimes though! 

So if you’re feeling a bit down, I hope this article has helped. If you’re into social media join the WeatherWatchNZ Twitter or Facebook pages – you’ll be surprised how many other people out there are online wanting to chat weather or to even just post a pet picture to make you smile.  

For further support please click the links below – You’re not alone.

  • Photo Credit: Joshua Melo

– Written by Head Forecaster Philip Duncan


Lorraine on 25/03/2020 6:45pm

Get as much sun as you can – you are allowed outside into your garden and you can go for walks. This will help boost your Vitamin D levels as we head towards winter as this is crucial for strong immune system. Sunshine and fresh air will lift your mood and help to uplift you during this time.

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