The darker and colder mornings make it harder to get out of bed and harder to motivate yourself at work.
This morning, when my alarm went off at 6.20, it felt like it was the middle of the night. The bed was warm, but the house was cold. Outside it was still dark and heavy rain was beating against the windows. I pressed the snooze button and went back to sleep.
This isn't like me. I'm a morning person; a motivated person who likes to get up and get on. But on mornings like this, even I find it a struggle.
So what causes these problems?
Reduced exposure to sunlight can affect some of the brain's chemicals and hormones.
It is thought that sunlight stimulates the brain's hypothalamus. This is the part of the brain that controls your mood, appetite and sleep.
To put this simply, in extended periods of daylight we feel happier and more energised. But when our time in the sun is reduced, we start to feel more downbeat and sluggish.
For around two million of us in the UK this causes a condition called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
SAD is a more extreme reaction to the reduction in daylight hours and is a kind of seasonal depression. It usually begins around this time of year and carries on through the winter months.
You can find out more about SAD here, on the NHS website.
If you think you, or someone you know, may be affected by SAD you should visit your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
There are some simple things we can all do to help beat the autumn blues.
Try to make the most of the daylight we do have:
- Sit near a window, if possible
- Take work breaks outside
- Go for a lunchtime walk
- Increase outdoor activities
In the workplace, you can help to maintain productivity by:
- Developing initiatives to boost morale and motivation
- Encouraging kindness, enthusiasm and teamwork
- Reminding employees to look after their general health by eating well, staying hydrated and exercising regularly
- Highlighting the symptoms of SAD and encouraging anyone who thinks they may have the condition to take action and visit their doctor
Kodiak posters can help you get the message across.
Kodiak Industrial produces posters that can help you and your staff adjust to the new season.
Our range includes posters on: