It's that time of the year, the air changes, our skin starts drying and our emotions can start to feel quite drab. Although there is a certain joy about getting the winter coat on and purchasing a couple of new jumpers (named the back to school kit forever!) it can still feel irksome when the cold winter nights set in.
It's snowing. You wouldn't think there are lots of kinds of snow but there are. For example, there are the big fat fluffy flakes that drift and float, silently smiling as they gently cover the world in a soft sparkling blanket. They are friendly. Happy. Cheerful little kids seeking playmates. That kind of snow warms your heart and makes you want to daydream by a fire with a cup of cocoa.
With the clocks going back this week, the season of S.A.D is upon us, and with that comes a surge in diagnosis. Seasonal affective disorder is type of depression that comes with the changing seasons, hitting at the same time every year, usually in the dark depths of winter. It's estimated to affect about two million people in the UK.
If you are lonely, have few social outlets, low self confidence or self esteem, then the summer months can be challenging. You may find it difficult to go out on your own, if others are out as couples, families or groups of friends, and you have no one to share the summer with. Seeing others apparently living the life you wish you had can make you feel worse about your own situation.
Although uncommon, Summer-Onset SAD does affect some people, with symptoms opposite to those in the winter; sufferers can experience weight loss, insomnia, loss of appetite, and agitation at this time of year. Summer-Onset SAD is not as widely recognised as the winter form of the syndrome, but it is something that does exist, and people should be aware of it.
Many people experience feelings of sadness, depression and lethargy once the winter months kick in, often due to the change in weather, the shorter days and long periods of being cooped up indoors. If the winter blues are starting to set in, check out these 10 ways to boost your happiness this winter.