Fall and winter tend to be a time of year that people get excited about. The holidays are around the corner and the seasons outside are changing into a beautiful sight. We all enjoy how the leaves change into their bright and photogenic colors. Winter also has a way to bring our eyes delight with the snow-covered landscape that it creates.
There are some people who, although trying to get in the spirit of the seasons changing, tend to feel that this time of year negatively affects their mental health. Seasonal depression is more common than you think. Most commonly known as Seasonal Affective Disorder, this condition tends to occur when climates change and there is less sunlight at certain times of the year. In this case fall and winter. Most people have their symptoms start at the beginning of the fall, but there are somewhere they are more affected by it as soon as winter hits.
You don’t want to brush off the feelings you may get from having this happening to you. If you feel that you are having Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD, you should be aware of them and handle them as necessary. You don’t want to consider it just the case of being out of just feeling emotional or having a case of the Mondays.
You want to make sure you are aware of it from the very beginning and you take the appropriate steps to help you feel better. Now, you may be wondering how this can affect you at work. Much like anywhere you are, mental health can strike without warning. It is hard to know what to pinpoint the cause or prepare for it to occur but it can most definitely affect you at work.
Anytime you have anxiety or depression while on the job, it will affect your work. You can be a bit distracted, unwilling to be motivated, or just feel unable to feel comfortable. This is a common thing with SAD and any mental health issue. Because people tend to ignore their feelings while they work as they feel that it is a distraction, they tend to just push through it to make it through the day.
By ignoring it just to get through your workday, you are setting up yourself to fail the next day at work or even the rest of the week. You want to make sure that you take the appropriate time to relax when you can. That is the great thing about work breaks, as you can really do anything you want while you are on them. Some people like to listen to music, watch YouTube or even just sit quietly. The best thing to do is to prepare for ways to relax.
Pack with you things from home that can help you relax on your breaks. The best thing to provide yourself is something you know won’t negatively spike your mood or anxiety. Some people like to play video games to relax, but sometimes the excitement from video games can spark unwanted anxiety. This is usually why most people tend to only play video games at home where they can be undistracted and in a more comfortable place.
Some people like to bring things like books, notebooks for writing or even ways to express themselves creatively by drawing. Whatever you feel helps make you happier, pack it up for the day so that you are easily prepared. Another way people find ways to relax is snacking. While making sure you are well fed and keeping your energy up is important, you want to avoid snacks that are unhealthy. Eating unhealthy could end up doing more harm than good, as this can affect your mood to a point it is worse and on its own mess with your focus.
Pack yourself a snack that can be easily eaten and healthy while you are either on your break or if you want to snack while you work. Many people tend to stick with trail mix or even beef sticks as a great way to snack. You don’t want to be too dependent on snacking as that can be another way to lead yourself down an unhealthy path. Be moderate with your snacking and even make sure to bring yourself a water bottle to stay hydrated.
Another way you can help with your struggle with SAD while you work is by being honest with your employer. Most employers are happy to help in any way they can to make sure that their employees are in the best environment for them. In the last few years, businesses have been more open to the understanding of mental health and the struggles that come with them. You can sit down with your employer or even just your team leads to let them know what you are dealing with.
Some people feel that SAD is something that isn’t as important as any other mental health issue but it very much is. You want to talk to someone in charge at your work to let them know this is happening and how they may help. They may suggest taking some time off, shortening your work hours, or maybe resources for you to contact a mental health professional to walk you through the proper steps to feel back to your own normal.
Whether it is fall or winter, people will be affected by SAD. It is not something to take likely or be ashamed of. Be sure to be aware of the signs of SAD and educate yourself more on this as well as other mental health disorders. You may not ever experienced them yourself but it is great to educate yourself on this as you may have a friend or loved one who is affected by some mental health issues. Remember that you can control how you feel in any scenario or moment, you just have to prepare and know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.