Dark winter nights lead to anxiety and depression but there is a way to beat the seasonal blues
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TWO-FIFTHS of adults in the UK feel more anxious and depressed in the darker winter nights, a survey has revealed.
Not spending enough time in daylight was the most common reason for people feeling down.
The study, conducted for www.Hillarys.co.uk, surveyed 2200 people.
Leaving and returning to work in the dark was a problem for 78 per cent of people.
And 58 per cent said they were concerned about the increase chance of burglary.
Almost half (48 per cent) are anxious about walking places in the dark.
And 32 per cent don't like leaving their pets at home in the dark, while 8 per cent said they suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
Rachel Fernie, spokesperson, said: “With the night’s starting to draw in and temperatures rapidly dropping, it’s typically that time of year when people start to feel low and many experience the winter blues.
"However, for others it can have a serious impact on their day-to-day lives and this study highlights the importance now more than ever to make sure that those who are suffering know strategies that may help them cope as we head into winter.”
Here are some tips to improve your mental and physical wellbeing.
Go for a walk (in the daylight if you can) - Getting out in even the chilly air is the best remedy for clearing your mind and separating yourself from what might be causing the feelings of anxiety or depression. Take in your surroundings looking at the autumnal colours of the trees and how the cold breeze feels against your skin, whilst taking some deep breaths. Those minutes of in the sunshine or daylight are highly important so try a lunchtime walk if you can.
Crank up the music - Music can have a massive impact on your mood so if you’re having a low moment, shake it off by turning on your favourite playlist and singing along. Upbeat music can be the quick fix to lift your mood slightly and to help motivate you to push on with the day.
Pick up the phone to a friend - A problem shared is a problem halved, that’s the old saying. When you’re feeling these negative emotions, reaching out to a friend to talk about it can help you feel much less isolated and put you in a better state of mind. A friend or family member can listen, offer advice or even just share a laugh – all of which will help you feel brighter.
Exercise - It may seem like the last thing you want to do when experiencing those tough emotions but doing a home workout or heading to the gym can really improve your mood. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins, hormones that trigger a positive feeling in the body – decreasing the levels of stress or anxiety you may be experiencing.
Plan something - This can be something small or big, alone or with a friend but planning something to look forward to will take you out of your present negative feelings and leave you excited about the future. It could be taking yourself to the cinema to watch a film you’ve been waiting to see, or a dinner with a friend at the weekend, whatever it might be it is sure to lift your mood.