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Seeing the light

The Winter Solstice on 21st December marks the shortest day of the year.

The amount of sunlight we get can affect our mood, energy levels, sex drive and appetite. If you feel less sociable and down in the winter months, you may be affected by a condition know as the winter blues. More severe depressive symptoms linked to changes in daylight are known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

Here are our 3 top tips for beating the winter blues:
 1. Get active – exercise can help; a walk for an hour at midday can help you to feel energised and improve overall wellbeing.

2.  Light therapy - one way to get light therapy at home in winter is to sit in front of a light box which gives out very bright light. There is no strong evidence to support long-term benefits but in the short-term this may help to lift your mood.

3. Talking treatments – treatments such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), where you talk through how you are feeling with a therapist or coach may help you cope with symptoms. CBT helps you think more positively about situations and can help you change how you react to problems.

If you are interested in find our more about the winter blues or SAD, visit NHS Inform