For those who experience colder climates, the days are shorter and darker. The temperatures have dropped and we tend to spend more time indoors. This can upset our general exercise routine and overall health and well-being.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is linked to lack of exposure to natural sunlight which affects the brain and hormones such as serotonin. A decrease in serotonin affects a person’s mood, appetite and sleep. Less sunlight disrupts a person’s internal clock and can lead to SAD’s symptoms.

These symptoms include:-

  • Lack of energy

  • Persistent low mood

  • Feelings of despair

  • Craving for carbohydrates

  • Weight gain

  • Low self esteem

  • Reduced sex drive

  • Sleep for longer than normal and find it hard to get up in the morning

  • Loss of interest in everyday activities

  • Difficulty concentrating

Regular exercise, meditation and a healthy diet including berries, protein, e.g. fish, nuts and seeds, can combat the symptoms of SAD.

Healthcare professionals recommend that people get a flu jab, protect themselves from colds and other common winter ailments by wrapping up warmly and maintain a reasonable room temperature when indoors. It is advised that people get the recommended dosage of Vitamin C, a water soluble vitamin, which doesn’t stay in the human body so it is important to keep a daily intake as well as Vitamin B12 and Omega 3.

Setting goals for the upcoming year can prove to be a motivator and improve a person’s wellbeing. These goals could focus on family, relationships, career, diet and exercise, housing/accommodation, finance or hobbies. Whatever goals are set they must be Smart, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bound. Goals can cause an individual to be optimistic about the future which in turns improves mood and health. Various sources of help are out there to help people make future plans, e.g. online tools, support groups, both online and face to face, telephone advice lines, health care professionals, finance advisers and bankers.

With a month to go before year end, if you haven’t already, it’s time to reflect on 2018 and plan for 2019 and beyond. The future is in your hands.

Ms. Jolene King has over 15 years business management and HR international experience gained in the UK, USA and Barbados. She holds a MA degree in Human Resource Management from University of Derby, a MSc. degree in Industrial/Organisational Psychology from Florida Institute of Technology and a BSc. degree in Sociology with Psychology from University of the West Indies, Cave Hill. Ms. King is trained in mental health conditions and exercise, health and nutrition. She is also a mental health expert. Ms. King is an active committee member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development’s (CIPD) Northamptonshire branch and is an Associate member of the Society for Industrial and Organisational Psychology (SIOP). 246 King Consulting’s website is Jolene King can be contacted via