The winter months can be tough. If you’re feeling low or you’re lacking in energy then it’s possible that you’re suffering from SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder. It’s thought that as many as one in three people in the Northern Hemisphere experience SAD and, as well as your mood, it can affect your ability to function and do your job to the best of your ability. We are always looking for ways to support and inspire our staff and young people, so we’ve put together 5 ways to banish the winter blues. 


What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?

SAD is sometimes referred to as Winter Depression or the Winter Blues and tends to affect us in autumn and winter, only to recede when the sun comes back in springtime. It affects people from all walks of life but can be especially prevalent for carers whose stress levels are already higher than usual. At Ashdale Care, we want to ensure that all of our people are happy and supported, from the children and young people in our care to our incredible staff. So, if you’re feeling a little low, or you’re caring for someone who is, take a look at our top tips for dealing with Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Get outdoors

Aim to spend time outside in nature as much as you can. The practice of “eco-therapy” can be available through your GP but you can take matters into your own hands by getting outside to exercise, garden, volunteer etc. All of our Ashdale Homes are located in peaceful countryside locations with landscaped gardens. Our staff and young people will all have the opportunity to get outdoors and explore the beauty of nature.


Learn more about Ashdale Care Locations.

Take your vitamins!

Scientists think that one of the major causes of SAD is the lack of vitamin D that we get in the winter. The days are short and the sunlight is weak (so weak that even on sunny days, we’re not getting what we need) so be sure to take a vitamin D tablet every morning.

Consider light therapy

Light therapy can be hugely beneficial in dealing with SAD. SAD lamps emit a strong, bright light that mimics the effects of sunlight. These lamps come in many forms from small bedside alarm clocks to larger wall lamps. 

Stick to your routine

The dark mornings make getting out of bed tough but it’s thought that sticking to the same sleep-wake cycle (going to bed and getting up at the same time) every day, even weekends, can help to balance your natural circadian rhythms.

Get crafty

Learning a new skill via art therapy (including drama, movement, crafts, learning an instrument…) can help form new connections in the brain. This will improve cognitive function and can improve mood. At Ashdale, Art Therapy is a hugely important part of what we do and is open to both our young people and carers who would like to get involved.


Find out more about our therapeutic services].


At Ashdale, we want to support our staff

As Ashdale Care Ireland, our mission is to support, empower and inspire and encourage our young people and staff so that we can positively transform lives. If you’re looking for your next position in care work then head to our careers page now.

Check out all of our current vacancies at Ashdale Careers.