How to avoid seasonal depression this winter

24 October, 2023 / words by Alicia Lartey

Seasons change and so does your mood. As someone who has dealt with anxiety and depression for a number of years, I am all too familiar with seasonal depression (SAD). Whilst there will not always be something I can do to completely rid myself of seasonal depression, there are a few things that I will be doing to reduce the impact SAD has on me.

What is seasonal depression?

Seasonal depression or seasonal affective disorder, is described as ‘depression that you experience during particular seasons or times of the year. Depression is a low mood that lasts for a long time and affects your everyday life’ (Mind UK). Seasonal depression can impact you especially when there is a large temperature fluctuation such as transitioning between summer and winter.

What will I be doing for my seasonal depression?

Pre organise my days (on the days I’m feeling good)

I know that where I tend to struggle with seasonal depression is the completion of day-to-day tasks. What I have started doing is writing a detailed list of all the tasks I need to complete, their deadline and colour coding them to make things look more fun. The key to not feeling overwhelmed by your list is to create one that has only the most important tasks, creating a very long list that is unachievable can make you feel helpless.

Changing scenery (within season)

I’m sure we would all love to do a last minute jetset holiday, in an ideal world I would disappear to Barbados or Ghana, but that is not always feasible for everyone so doing a deep clean and change of bedsheets can make you feel so good! The bed sheets that have brought me the most joy are my pink linen bed sheets similar to these. The adorable pink colour reminds me of brighter days and tropical sunset.

During the winter time, I always avoid using darker bedsheets and use something that reminds me of a summer holiday. Now is also the time to call on your friends and family and consider crashing at someone else’s house for a steep change in scenery.

Changing your diet and supplements

Whenever you think about making a dietary change, always remember to consult a nutritionist or dietician. Introducing a fruit or vegetable into your diet that you may have had abroad, can liven up any mundane meal. For me, I take a walk to M&S to buy a pouch of passion fruit seeds. Unfortunately not every meal goes to plan and for the days that I struggle to eat or feel the need to cook, I turn to food that I have cooked earlier in the week.

This helps me to ensure I have a balanced diet and reduces the thinking during a low moment.
I have been advised by my doctor to increase my intake of vitamin D to help improve my mood and magnesium to improve the quality of my sleep in the long run. You should never copy anyone else’s supplement regime, as the quantity that each person needs is totally personal.

Get a SAD Lamp

Now we’ve all seen adverts for SAD lamps, but is there a specific lamp that you need? Honestly no. During one of my many trips to Ikea, I managed to find a chic lamp and colour changing bulb, which has really helped to improve the ambiance in my space. To make things even easier for myself, I chose a wireless remote to help me operate the lamp from the comfort of my bed.

Whichever tips you choose to implement in your life, remember that if you are still suffering from low moods to contact a professional that can help you.


Alicia Lartey


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