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Winter is coming...

For those of you who watch Game of Thrones, you will already know that ‘Winter is coming’, as the characters have been saying it for seasons (of the television variety, as well as the of the calendar kind…)

Christmas lights are up in the streets, and gifts are proudly displayed in stores.

And yet with this change of season can also come a distinct change of mood for some people.

And not into one of the expected Christmas cheer.

According to the NHS, up to 2 million people in the UK are affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). This condition can impact on someone in a range of ways, but common presentations include feeling unsociable or ‘down’, depression, changes in sleep patterns and quality, decreased energy levels and altered eating habits.

If you notice these symptoms in yourself or others, it may be time to speak to a healthcare professional, including your GP.

For some people, lifestyle changes can help improve how they are feeling. These may include regular exercise, healthy eating and optimising the amount of natural light that they are receiving during the day. Some people find a light box is of benefit. For others, increasing their levels of social connection by spending time with family and friends, joining support groups and or accessing supportive forums can help. For some people,