The winter blues, aka SAD, affects about two million of us in the UK each year. But why are we talking about it in summer?
Seasonal Affective Disorder is a depressive illness that creeps up on us as the days get shorter. The lack of light can make us feel tired, stressed and unhappy.
I had assumed #SAD wasn’t an issue until the end of the year, when the sun isn’t let out to play and we turn our duvets into castles. But that’s not the case. According to the American Psychiatric Association:
Those who work long hours inside office buildings with few windows may experience [SAD] symptoms all year.
So how do you treat it? The least intrusive way is by using a light box, a special type of lamp that’s much brighter than ones you have at home. You sit in front of the light box for 30 minutes to an hour each day and this may help to lift your spirits. You can even get light boxes that are desk lamps, so that might be a help at work.
Ask your GP for advice. Or, you know, ask the boss if you can open the curtains, stop cleaning the dungeon, leave the mineshaft and other metaphors that imply you’re working in the dark.
Of course, in summer the other thing to do is head into the light. Don’t sit at your desk at lunchtime, go outside and praise the sun.
Let the sunshine in.