Mental health warning as winter edges closer

VERY FEW Fermanagh folk look forward to winter. For many who suffer from SAD (seasonal affective disorder) shorter evenings and darker mornings can be almost unbearable.
“For me it’s just the worst time of year,” explained Enniskillen wellbeing coach, Linda Johnston.
“I myself suffer from SAD and have done since my teenage years. It’s only in the last few years that I’ve decided to do some research on this to see if there was anything I could do that would help me cope with the symptoms of SAD.
“Over the years I never really paid much attention. I dreaded every winter coming and I felt low, depressed and I would hibernate which made me miserable.
“For me it started in October and it lasted until the new year came.
When new year’s day arrived I always felt that I was on the home straight to spring and that made me feel so much better.”
The mum-of-five continued, “Over half of the population would say that their mood becomes worse in the winter and while the exact causes of SAD are not understood, symptoms include, lack of energy, concentration, feeling sad and changes to your appetite.”
Speaking on coping strategies, Linda explained, “Last year was probably the best year I had because I was more aware of the things that I needed to do and I had to make the effort.
“I make sure that I have a plan in place or a project to work on over the winter months, even something that would tie me over to the new year. It could be a DIY project, or something creative like sewing or reading.”

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