SAD: How Winter impacts Workplace Wellbeing
As the days grow shorter in the Northern Hemisphere, there’s a general feeling of winding down. For some people, there’s a more profound effect which leaves them feeling not just down, but depressed. Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, can have a huge impact on workplace wellbeing if we leave it unrecognised.
So what is it, and what can we do to help?
Our Body Clock, Light, and SAD
Our body clock, or circadian rhythm, is conducted by sunlight. Most people wake within a couple of hours of sunrise. When this happen, and our eyes are filled with daylight, our body clock starts running. We produce a pulse of cortisol, which sets things in motion.
The systems that are regulated by our circadian rhythm include our heart rate, blood pressure, digestion and sleep.
Our ancient ancestors (and even our more recent relatives) would have lived their lives by this rhythm of sunrise and sunset. Work would have been done in daylight, and rest and sleep would come with darkness.
Our modern lives don’t allow for the natural ebb and flow of the seasons and daylight. We have invented ways to maintain light homes and offices around the clock. Into the bargain, we also created the 8/10/12 hour working day, and shift patterns to ensure maximum productivity.
Our brains still retain the ancient structures that dictate our waking and sleeping hours. It doesn’t respond well to the modern changes.
People who experience SAD may find themselves getting ill more often, feeling demotivated and unproductive.
Sally is an experienced hypnotherapist who lives and breathes all angles of wellness. Her life and work reflect her love for nature, food, and intentional movement.