Jess is 16 years old, and studying English Language, Psychology and Sociology at Sixth Form. Jess decided to get involved with Student Life because it is a unique opportunity while still in education, and is really interesting to write articles and expand writing skills, alongside reading articles written by others, and to see their point of view.
Seasonal Affective Disorder, otherwise known, fittingly, as SAD, impacts a lot of people’s lives, the majority without actually knowing they have this disorder. Sometimes people describe themselves as having ‘the winter blues’ because there isn’t much awareness for this condition, so you may not realise that there are things you can do to get your mojo back. The disorder involves a noticeable mood difference during the summer and winter seasons, with depression creeping in during the colder months, and your mood being generally happy during the warmer ones. Scientifically, these mood changes occur during the winter because of a deficiency of vitamin D, which we can gain from the sun. The days are shorter and the sun is out a lot less frequently in the winter, so consequently, many of our vitamin D levels drop, along with our mood.
This may sound familiar, but don’t worry. There are ways around feeling down, without the need for the sun. Of course, you can buy vitamin D tablets, however, if you’re anything like me, you won’t like to take tablets if there’s another way to solve the problem.
You can include more vitamin D rich foods in your diet, such as orange juice, cereal and bread (you can always check the label to see how much vitamin D there is), but there are also light boxes that you can buy, which actually are so bright that they simulate the effect of the sun, and can get your vitamin D fix even without the sun. You would only need to spend around 30 minutes per day with the light on for a noticeable lift in your mood, and I’ve found that this time is best spent in the morning when I’m getting ready for the day, because it really makes me feel awake too! There are many places you can buy them from – I got mine from Amazon for £45. This may seem expensive, but the light really helps lift my mood, and has continued to do so for a few years now!
Whether you choose to take vitamins, eat different foods or invest in a lightbox, I hope you soon start feeling happier for the Christmas season!