Dont get SAD: Happiness begins in the autumn

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or 'winter blues' usually hits the headlines in the new year, along with detox therapies and diets. As SAD has its roots firmly planted in the autumn, reaching its peak in the early months of the year, action plans should be put into place now.


SAD symptoms can often start in autumn and decline in the colder, winter months. The bodily response to shorter days and lower light levels is unavoidably mechanical. When we wake to sunshine, and experience adequate levels during the day, as light enters the eye, the brain's production of melatonin, which is the hibernation and sleep hormone, switches off from its night-time production, to enable you to have an active and vibrant day.

When summer ends, and it gets darker and duller all day, we experience the effects of this hormone leaking like a dripping tap into our system for longer periods, maybe all day. Hibernation behaviours set in.

What are the signs of seasonal affective disorder?

SAD symptoms are experienced uniquely by each person, and not all will apply to everyone, but if a majority of the list below sounds like you, consider a consultation for an action plan. It can be done; you can change your vulnerability to SAD, and break your pattern every winter. This can help relationships, work life, personal happiness and emotional well-being.

Who can experience SAD?

Seasonal affective disorder symptoms can often start before the age of 30. SAD is more common in countries that experience bigger seasonal changes in the levels of light.

7 symptoms of seasonal affective disorder

  1. You may feel more tired as autumn sets in, and lack energy and enthusiasm, whereas when spring appears, you have increasing energy, enthusiasm and joy in life.
  2. You may crave carbohydrates, eat more, and gain weight, maybe change your whole eating pattern and appetite, and drop weight in summer.
  3. You may sleep much more, and feel sleepy and drowsy after food.
  4. You may feel antisocial, and less emotionally invested in your family, or partner.
  5. You may feel depressed, pessimistic, or dispassionate.
  6. You may make bad decisions, maybe leave jobs, and relationships, in the autumn, and avoid new challenges.
  7. You may be super sensitive to sunlight and need sunglasses more than most people, and certainly in the summer sun.

What can help with SAD symptoms?

There are many ways to treat the symptoms of SAD naturally. Self-help, life management tactics, family help, exercise, good nutrition, the purchase of a Lightbox, and reflexology can diminish the effects of SAD.

If you would like to know more about how reflexology and other holistic therapies can help the symptoms of SAD, feel free to learn more about the benefits or search for a professional using our search tool.

Holistic therapies are a natural way to treat people with a variety of conditions and problems. They can help you with stress levels, improve sleep quality, and boost focus, as well as provide support for mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety.

It can be managed, rather than have it manage you...

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Therapy Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

Share this article with a friend
Show comments

Find a therapist dealing with Reflexology


All therapists are verified professionals

All therapists are verified professionals