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Feeling SAD? Turn on some lights, it may lift your mood

SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) happens when the days get shorter – when we have the least amount of available sunlight (and the shortest day of 2024 is coming up on June 21st this year).

Shorter days with decreased sunlight, longer nights, cooler weather – they can all add up to some of us feeling down.

If you’re feeling a lack of energy, a struggle to wake up, the general feeling of flat and down coming and going across the day, then it’s possible you may be suffering from SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder. SAD is quite normal to experience when our nights get longer and the days shorter, like right now at the start of winter.

For most of us, experiencing SAD is only mild and we cope with it just fine. But for others the gloom of darker days can really affect you mentally in crippling ways, especially if it makes other issues you may be dealing with feel even heavier and darker. SAD can be a serious issue for some people, even here in New Zealand which isn’t typically impacted by SAD compared to other nations (some nations in the Northern Hemisphere and Arctic Circle have little to no sunlight in their winter months).

Like depression, SAD can affect how you feel and behave for days, weeks or even months. But you can do easy things to help yourself feel better 🙂

You should not ignore SAD, as it can be effectively treated. Click here to read more from the Mental Health Foundation on dealing with and understanding SAD.

For most of us, turning on extra lights can make a really big difference. It’s called Light Therapy. The few extra cents or dollars it may cost may be some of the cheapest and most effective therapy you can get for this – especially these days with low cost, low energy lightbulbs. Put lights on during the day if it’s feeling gloomy – the room you’re in, the room you frequently walk in (like a hallway). If it really does help lift your mood it may then not be considered ‘a waste of power’.

Also, get some fresh air and sunlight where you can too. Easier said than done sometimes though! But getting outside for even just 10 mins in the wind or fresh air, can also help lift your mood.  

So if you’re feeling a bit down at the moment, we hope this article has helped. And you’re certainly not the only person who may be feeling this way – it’s a well documented issue for those outside the tropics and sub-tropics right around the globe.

For further support please click the links below – You’re not alone!

  • Photo Credit: Joshua Melo

– Article written by


Lorraine on 25/03/2020 6:45pm

Get as much sun as you can – you are allowed outside into your garden and you can go for walks. This will help boost your Vitamin D levels as we head towards winter as this is crucial for strong immune system. Sunshine and fresh air will lift your mood and help to uplift you during this time.

Zelda Wynn on 12/06/2024 12:26am

A timely reminder, an excellent post!

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