Sunday, December 17The Voice of London

DIY guide to brighten up your winter blues

The subject of mental health in the UK is once again colouring this morning’s headlines. A government pledge to offer better mental-health services and support to schools has been announced, assuring a maximum waiting-time of just four weeks. Seemingly, different forms of mental illness enclose the dark winter months of the year, often urging us to sink into a bitter-sweet or horrific melancholia. However, there are some efficient ways to fight it, without digging too deep into your pocket or quitting your job to make a move to a tropical destination. You’re welcome! 

As to the BBC’s report, the NHS figures appoint that last year, in the UK, 1 in 10 girls aged 16-17 were referred to mental health specialists. Principally, about 50% of mental illnesses start prior to age 14. The government’s plan consists of a tailored training program to school staff, a broad education of the topic for all ages, and a more efficient and quick access to mental health services for the pupils. The plan is estimated to cost £300m.

As we are diving into the darkest months of the year, we all conceivably seem to be more mood-alerted beneath our endless layers. Many of us suffer from a low mood throughout the winter months. It is unsurprisingly perhaps, when we look at the Sun’s report earlier in November, showing that Brits see “less than 10 hours of daylight a week” throughout the winter. Yet, for some of us this winter blues has an actual name: a Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

Is it the most wonderful time of the year? Photo credit: Flickr

As to Psychology Today’s report, SAD affects “approximately 10% of individuals who live in climates that are less sunny”. Among its symptoms are sadness, fatigue, concentration difficulties, low-energies, increased sensitivity, hypersomnia, weight gain, and negative thoughts. The actual causes for SAD are yet unknown, but the treatments vary.

As a useful early Christmas treat for our readers, the Voice of London has gathered a DIY guide to brighten up the dark months of the year and to win over the winter blues.

Infographic: Adi Cohen

Words: Adi Cohen | Subbing: Pamela Machado

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