5 ways to help employees with Seasonal Affective Disorder

You may have heard of Seasonal Affective Disorder (often known as SAD), but are you sure you know what it is? As an employer, you need to be aware of this as it could affect some of your employees.

What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?

It’s a type of depression where the feeling is worse during a specific season within the year.

For most people who suffer from SAD, the symptoms are more apparent and severe during the winter months – which is why it’s sometimes known as winter depression. However, some people feel more depressed in the summer months and better during the winter.

What are the symptoms?

People suffering from SAD could experience these symptoms:

  • A persistent low mood
  • Loss of pleasure or interest in normal everyday activities
  • Irritability
  • Feelings of despair, guilt and worthlessness
  • Feeling lethargic and sleepy during the day
  • Sleeping for longer than normal and finding it hard to get up in the morning
  • Craving carbohydrates and gaining weight

5 ways you can help employees with SAD

As an employer who cares about their staff, there are a few simple things you can do to help relieve the symptoms of SAD for your workforce. However, we also suggest you encourage your employee to speak to their GP about their symptoms.

We’ve pulled together a short checklist you can use with your employees:

  1. Move your employee to a desk with more natural sunlight
  2. Give your employee time to go on a longer lunch outside in the sunlight
  3. Encourage your employee to remove clutter from their working environment
  4. Offer a healthy, balanced menu at your canteen or cafeteria
  5. Help your employee be more resilient to stress or to manage their stress better

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