At this time of year, when the days are still short and the glow of Christmas is behind us, you may start to feel a little ‘down’. This could be a sign that you are experiencing seasonal affective disorder (also known as SAD). We’re keen to share with you this video from our friends at COPE which gives you some tips on staying well at this time of year:
For some people, technology is the answer. Spending time in front of a SAD light box can be a substitute for spending time in the sun on dreich days. If it’s the dark mornings you struggle with, an alarm clock with a wake-up light feature may help. These devices will light up slightly around 30 minutes before your alarm is due to go off, then slowly increase there brightness. This is an attempt to mimic a sunrise.
Ordinary light bulbs and fittings are not strong enough. Average domestic or office lighting emits an intensity of 200-500 lux but the minimum dose, necessary to treat SAD is 2500 lux, The intensity of a bright summer day can be 100,000 lux!
Light treatment should be used daily in Winter (and dull periods in Summer) starting in early Autumn when the first symptoms appear. It consists of sitting two to three feet away from a specially designed light box, usually on a table, allowing the light to shine directly through the eyes.
The user can carry out normal activity such as reading, working, eating and knitting while stationary in front of the box.
~ advice from the Seasonal Affective Disorder Association (source)
Remember, if you feel you have a condition you should get in touch with your GP who will be able to give you a professional diagnosis and ensure you receive the correct treatment. More details are available on the NHS Inform website.