As autumn approaches (mind you, it seems as if we have gone straight from spring to autumn!) we are seeing more clients anxious about seasonal mood change. Is it real? We feel better when the sun shines. We tend to be more cheerful and energetic. From October onwards we really start to react to fewer hours of daylight. Mary *, a client, experienced a variety of symptoms including anxiety, sleep problems, lack of energy, loss of appetite or over eating, loss of interest in physical contact and being more prone to illness. It can affect any of us, although women report it more than men, and it tends to be more of a feature in the under 40’s. There is well documented research on the causes and triggers of SAD, as well as many strands of treatment.
As a motivation therapist and life coach, Susan Chan uses a ‘3 step programme’ to make a difference. A programme would include:
- Mindfulness Relaxation exercises – involving breathing and visualisation
- Light therapy and structured Relaxing Exercise.
Since Susan uses a ‘toolbox’ of holistic therapies, sometimes other programmes may be introduced. For Mary*, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) was also useful.
(* not real name)