Are you SAD?

If you are finding the dark nights, dark mornings and drizzly days are leaving you with a low mood, or even symptoms of depression you are not alone, particularly if you are a

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woman over 40.


As many as one in three of us report feeling very low in winter and struggling to get through even ordinary tasks in the way we do in brighter days.

If that becomes particularly pervasive, you may be suffering from SAD (seasonally affective disorder).  It’s thought to be caused by a lack of Vitamin D in winter and can be a very real issue for sufferers.

Symptoms include:

  • Persistent low mood
  • Irritability
  • Sadness
  • Extra hunger/loss of appetite
  • Lack of desire to see people
  • Loss of sex drive

The difference with SAD is that it tends to start in late September, and peaks in February, tailing off as winter ends.

Sufferer Lucy, 45 says:

“I see the very first signs in October.  I get a little buzzy and anxious.  By the end of November, I can’t sleep properly, and feel very stressed.

“In January I get to my lowest – some days I even struggle to get out of bed.”

It can vary in severity from case to case.  Some women find that a little light and some vitamins and they are fine, others need anti-depressants to get through the winter months.  There is hope though.  Solutions can include:


A lack of Vitamin D, created by the sun is the primary cause of SAD. If you can’t get outside, even for twenty minutes, or if feeling low at this time of year is a longer-term thing for you, try a light box. Many sufferers report significant improvements, although studies show they are best used early in the morning.

SAD Light Box – 10,000 lux, £54.99


Booking a holiday in January can be a godsend for some. If that’s not in the budget though, just planning a break can help.

Visualising yourself in a hot country, enjoying yourself for just ten minutes a day can work wonders as shown in studies.  Lie back and imagine the sun hitting your skin, feeling warm and safe *mentions of Cabana boys cannot be verified but we think can only help..


We love a juice up, especially this one from  In Sonnets Kitchen blog, on which there is a beautiful recipe for a Carrot, Ginger, and Lime juice. Packed with fresh ingredients and the loveliest colour (not sludge green like so many ‘healthy’ drinks) it is a tasty shot of energy in a glass!


Exercising outdoors is considered the best way to get rid of SAD, but if you can’t do that, a lot of research suggests a boogie.

We know that can feel counterintuitive when all you want to do is go to bed but trust us.  A quick shimmy to Dancing Queen can lead to a chemical improvement in your mood and energy levels that last.


Natural supplements including St Johns Wort, Starflower Oil and Evening Primrose, plus Vitamin D, Selenium and Magnesium can all help re-balance your mood.

If that still doesn’t work, though, there’s no shame in a trip to the doctors.  You treat a cold, this is no different.

And finally

If none of that works get a duvet. Roll up in eat. Eat chocolate. It’ll be over soon enough, we promise.  There’s a lot to be said for Hygge.


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