Lifestyle, Mental Health

The SAD Side of Winter and how you can help

Winter isn’t all mulled wine and being merry. Sorry, I don’t mean to burst your bubble. That perfect little illusion that Christmas means perfection and everyone’s happy, right? Wrong. There are many of us who are sadly, suffering, for many a reason. So lets cover the sad side of Winter and how you can help.

The SAD Side of Winter and how you can help

So what’s wrong with Winter then?

I get it, it’s just been Christmas and the New Year, we’re a few weeks into our fresh starts and there’s the air of possibility all around us. Some are still cracking on with their new year, new me mantras and are absolutely killing it.. Life is good, and it is, honestly we all have so much to be thankful for. Though there are things that can really hit hard, at this time of year, especially.

Homelessness

Having no roof over our head is never something to celebrate. At this time of year when the weather is bitter and the nights are both darker and longer, I can imagine it’s a whole lot worse.

Whilst everyone else is cheerful, spending time with loved ones, feasting on luxurious food and living their best life, some are not. Some have no loved ones. They have no home. Nor do they have the luxury of warm clothes, of heating. Some have no food, no water even. Basic necessities are lacking in the lives of some.

With homelessness on the rise in the UK there are continually more of us being subject to this predicament. Spare a thought for them.

How can you help?

You could hand the homeless a coffee/tea, or a nice warm sausage roll. I’m aware there are fake homeless out there, or those with an addiction to substances, which is exactly why this alternative to money is the best way forward. How about helping out at a shelter? There are a tonne of organisations out there relying on volunteers.

The windows of opportunity to help are endless. A persons situation can change very quickly and with our government in the current mess it is, nothing is to be taken for granted. This could happen to any of us.

External Link: What are the best ways of helping homeless people?

Homelessness is a massive issue!

Loss of a loved one.

For many of us it’s our first year without someone in our lives who meant a lot. Birthday’s, Christmas, New Years and a whole bunch of other events without them will always hurt, but the first year is always the worst.

We have to carry on without them. Honour their memory, celebrate for them. It doesn’t stop the sadness at times engulfing us, or the tears from falling even a little.. But it’s all we’ve got.

A reminder..

Nothing we can do will bring them back, though it doesn’t hurt to be mindful of others as well as ourselves. Posting endlessly on social media could be crushing someone else in the same situation. Remember, it doesn’t bring them back. It serves no purpose. You’re actually prolonging your own suffering through dwelling on their absence.

You can still honour your loved one, did they have a particular tradition? Use a particular decoration? See them on a certain day over the holidays? You could continue this without them, in their memory. Remember they’d want you to live.

If not for yourself, do it for them! If someone is struggling, invite them out. Show them that you care. Listen, if they want to talk. Don’t pry, if they don’t. Support goes a long way even if you feel you’re not making a difference.

Graveyard

Seasonal Effective Disorder (SAD)

SAD, a form of depression. Yet another worry for those of us who already struggle with our mental health.

Christmas is an amazing time, yet for many of us the delights of the festive period can be overshadowed so easily. Year after year. For seemingly no reason at all, what so ever. It’s troubling to find yourself feeling this way, without excitement for the festive period. Missing out on the feeling of possibility and hope for the new year.

Feeling.. Empty. Nothingness. Lacking enjoyment when partaking in your usual hobbies. Unable to set goals because what’s the point? Why, when I can’t even get out of bed? You get up and it’s dark, you go to bed and it’s dark. It’s constantly bloody dark! Your daylight is robbed and with it your ability to really FEEL.

What’s worse is you feel ungrateful. Everyone else is happy and trying to cheer you up. Nothing helps. Why would your loved ones want to spend time with someone who’s ‘ruining Christmas’?

It’s more than a grey day.

There are many who would remark “It’s Christmas soon, cheer up!”, “Cheer up love, might never happen.” “Pull yourself together, like a pair of curtains.. Ha ha ha ha.” We don’t mean to feel this way. We don’t want to feel this way! Sorry if our mood is a dampener, honestly we’re trying. We’re trying to hide it from you. False smiles are painted on. Fake happiness, each year. We hate ourselves for it more than you ever could but those comments. DO. NOT. HELP! They don’t help us and they don’t help anyone else suffering with any other type of mental health illness.

How you can help.

Quit the unhelpful comments. If you don’t know what to say, say nothing. Nothing is better than comments that can potentially result in set backs.

Support us, invite us out, chat with us. Treat us as you normally would. Ask if there’s anything you can do to help. If there is then fab, that means the person is letting you in. If there’s not, don’t hold it against them. Don’t assume we’re shutting you out.

Try to understand mental health issues to the best of your ability. Read up on the condition in question. Check in on us but don’t check up on us. By that I mean act natural. If you make us feel stalked we will hide away.

Get us to laugh, it’s the best form of medicine. Act silly, play. Remind us that it’s okay to let loose and just be in the moment. Take our minds away from any stress, any pressures.

If you think you’re suffering from SAD…

As it’s a form of depression, the symptoms and in turn, the actions taken to help those symptoms, are either the same or much alike. I’ve listed a few ideas below, though this is a meaty subject. If you’d like me to talk more about this topic then do let me know. As a result, there will be more where this came from.

  • See a doctor as they’ll be able to give you professional help!
  • Get as much daylight as is possible! If you still need more you could look into switching your dull bulbs for daylight ones, or looking into light therapy and purchasing a light box.
  • Don’t avoid social situations because you’ll only isolate yourself and feel much worse as a result of doing so.
  • Another thing that will serve no purpose is staying in bed, I promise you, you won’t feel good about doing so.
  • Have a read through these 113 ways to improve your lifestyle in the hope that something in the list will inject a little life back into you.
The SAD Side of Winter and how you can help

I hope this post hasn’t put a dampener on you day, but it’s something I feel needs to be spoken about. All too often we get lost in the glitz, glam and sparkle of the festive period, when for so many it isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. – Albus Dumbledore

Choose to help those around you. Be sure to look out for any loved ones who may be suffering and you might just make things a little better for them, too.

If you’ve found this helpful and know somebody else it could help, then please share this post. To those of you struggling please know you aren’t alone and there’s always someone out there who will listen and who cares! I’m one of them, it doesn’t matter to me if we know one another or not, don’t suffer in silence.

Remember also, to be kind to those who need our help, for whatever reason that may be. You never know what another person is going through.

10 thoughts on “The SAD Side of Winter and how you can help

  1. This was a beautiful and heartfelt read. As happy a time as the Winter is meant to be (Christmas, new beginnings etc) it’s so sad for so many people.

    Thank you so much for sharing this.

    – Nyxie

    1. You’ve no idea how much your comment has just made me smile. I’m so glad you enjoyed this post, mental health is such a delicate subject and one I feel so passionately about, so to feel I’ve got something right in terms of writing about it means so much to me.

      I agree, if anything I think it can often be much harder for those who are suffering, purely because of the festive season and happiness being otherwise, all around. It’s such a harsh contrast.

    1. I don’t think there’s much awareness for it at all, maybe with it being a seasonal disorder. So many people I’ve spoken to fit the criteria spot on for having SAD yet just seem to beat themselves up this time of year, thinking they’re being ridiculous as they don’t understand or have any awareness about what they could actually be walking around with.

      It’s such a shame because even with small things such as the daylight bulbs, or making the most of daytime hours whilst we have them, it can have such a positive impact on someone in this position. A little more awareness could go such a long way! Thank you for your comment, I hope your Winters improve, too. Remember you’re worthy of some TLC, whatever you need during these times to perk you up, go for it. There’s a beautiful shining sun at the end of this wet and windy tunnel.. If we can wait 674926 years! 😂

  2. Jan and feb are the worst!!! I mean there’s great things that happen in these months but when it’s gloomy and -6 (feels like -23) it’s not fun. I find that this time of year I really start to miss the sun. I also notice that I get super dramatic this time too.

    1. The winter months just seem to drag on forever, don’t they? It’s fine before Christmas and everything’s exciting, especially with a child in the family again, but after it’s all done with everything’s just a bit of a flop. I started out with the best of intentions this year, and my SAD didn’t kick in as early on as it usually does, but about a week/week and half into this month and I hit a brick wall. I’m slowly trying to get myself back on track but it’s as if I take one step forward and another seven back – so draining! I need a break ha ha!

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