Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that comes and goes in a seasonal pattern. SAD is sometimes known as "winter depression" because the symptoms are more apparent and tend to be more severe during the winter. The symptoms often begin in the autumn as the days start getting shorter.
About 3% of the population are estimated to suffer from seasonal affective disorder, a debilitating illness which prevents those affected from functioning normally without appropriate treatment. About 20% of people in the UK experience mildly debilitating symptoms of Sad which is commonly called winter blues. All degrees of SAD can affect mood, sleep and appetite as well as lack of energy, concentration problems, anxiety, overeating, loss of libido, social and relationship problems and sudden mood changes or periods of hypomania (over-activity) in spring.
Nature has seasons and we accept them, we don't fight against them, probably because there is nothing we can do about it, it is going to happen whether we like it or not. So why do we fight against the seasons in other areas of our life? EVERYTHING is seasonal.
SAD in BusinessDecision Making
If you or someone in your company's leadership team suffers with SAD it will massively impact on their decision making. It is essential to have a few different perspectives on major decisions during the winter months, I would even go as far as to sad that major decisions shouldn't be made in the depths of winter or the height of summer!
Feeling bad in general can lead to self-sabotaging, especially in successful businesswomen. Success comes with a price and carries weight which at times can be too much to bear. Without realising it, you could be self-sabotaging your success to lighten your load.
Negative thoughts bread more negative thoughts which turn into negative words and could create a negative culture in your company. All in all, it can send you and your team into a downward spiral fast! If you understand that you suffer with SAD or notice someone on your team suffering nip negativity in the bud and focus on positive things. It's not that you ignore the negative things but you deal with them one on one with the person suffering or if the whole team is a bit down tell them you will come back to that at a later date and then plan a team social or something positive to boost morale.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists strongly recommends seeking as much exposure to natural light as possible. Go for a walk, have a cup of tea outside or do things that you enjoy or get a light box if you really don't want to go out into the cold and sit in front of it for 30 - 60 minutes a day.
Boosting your endorphin levels and getting your blood pumping with exercise is good for you any time of year but it will help you with SAD too. It's probably the last thing you feel like doing but if you can get yourself moving regularly you will feel a bit better.
Many people who suffer with SAD also tend to dislike the cold. Keeping warm both indoors and outdoors can help too.
Take the pressure off of yourself and half your diary commitments. Understand that you are no good to anyone if you have no energy anyway.
Dot things that you enjoy into your days and weeks so that the days don't drag on and on.
Why do we always push ourselves to function at 100mph constantly. Rest is a good and healthy thing, if you need to rest then rest. It might just mean sitting and having a quiet cup of tea during the day or for some it could mean a nap or going to be early.
All the above is what we can do in the natural but God is above nature and can intervene in the most extraordinary way. Take your burdens to Him because He really does care for you.
If you really can't manage and find that you are losing weight or sleep and if you are feeling suicidal you must get in touch with a doctor.
Watch the full video of my talk on this subject below.