Feeling SAD as the days get shorter? You’re not alone… Seasonal Affective Disorder begins in August for our health and beauty writer, Trish Lesslie…

It begins in August. That’s when the fear sets in. As if suffering from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) in winter isn’t bad enough, I have to go one further and let the dread of it taint those last, glorious days of warm weather.

While others bask in the glow of an Indian summer, I’m the annoying person pointing out how the days are getting shorter – to my own and everyone else’s irritation.

They may call it the winter blues, but the lack of light in London can leave those of us affected feeling completely deflated. Symptoms of SAD can include a lack motivation and energy, and result in a mood that’s way more black than blue.

Admittedly, from now until the New Year isn’t so bad for me. As the fiery shades of autumn give way to the twinkling lights of the festive season, there’s plenty to compensate for the diminishing hours of daylight.

The lack of light in London can leave those of us affected by SAD feeling deflated

But is there a month less jolly than January? And oh, how the gloom of February and March seems to stretch out interminably. The night when the clocks eventually go forward and the light floods back – into my spirits as well as the evening skies – can never come quickly enough. All of which means I find myself wishing great chunks of my life away, envying those who relish the crisp winter mornings and revel in wrapping up against the wind and rain.

The solution seems straightforward. Be like a bird – follow the sun! Which is exactly what I plan to do every single year. It’s around now I begin seeking out beachside villas from Cape Town to Tulum, temporary homes where I will soak up the sunshine far away from the murky skies. And every year, without fail, something comes up meaning I have to stay in London.

So I’ve decided that this year will be different. I will embrace the cold, the drizzle and the dark. I will learn to love grey skies and treat myself to a new winter wardrobe, big on boots and cosy cashmere.

The SAD lamps (I have them in the house) will be switched on as soon as the natural light begins to fade. Health supplements will be taken every morning – 5HTP, which the body needs to make the feel-good hormone serotonin, plus mood-boosting Vitamin D3 and a high dose Omega-3.

A holiday in the sun will also be booked. At least two weeks in February to be spent beside a beach of breathtaking beauty.

Well, there’s only so much you can expect from SAD lamps and supplements…

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