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It might seem like we’ve only just said goodbye to summer, but now is the time to start preparing your workplace for the winter. Because whilst it can be an exciting time of year for a team – planning the office Christmas party, organising Secret Santa gifts and counting down the weeks and days until a hard-earned holiday – winter can also be a difficult time for many workers. That’s because 1 in 15 people in the UK are affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Read on as the Occupational Health specialists at YourGP explain exactly what SAD is, what impact it could have on your business, and what you can do to help any affected employees.
SAD is a type of depression that comes and goes with the seasons, and symptoms are usually at their worst during the autumn and winter. Of course, we can all be affected by a grey and gloomy day – it’s natural to feel a little tired and unmotivated when the weather is miserable. However, SAD is much more serious than just having the odd ‘down day’.
Whilst the exact cause of SAD is still not yet fully understood, it is believed to be connected to the lower levels of sunlight in autumn and winter which can affect the body’s production of melatonin and serotonin. This can have a detrimental effect on an individual’s sleep, mood and energy levels.
SAD usually manifests itself as a persistent low mood, irritability and fatigue. Here are some tell-take signs to look out for at work during the autumn and winter months:
Whilst there’s nothing you can do about the weather or the seasons, there is a lot you can do to help minimise the negative effects on your team:
YourGP’s Occupational Health specialists can work with your business and provide advice and practical help to improve the mental health and wellbeing of your team. Our medical professionals can support you in minimising the effects of SAD in your workplace which in turn can help to reduce sickness absence and improve staff performance.
YourGP can also provide an onsite GP clinic, allowing your staff to be seen quickly and conveniently for any health concerns they may have – including issues relating to SAD and mental health.
To find out more about our bespoke healthcare packages, call 0131 381 0322 or email email@example.com to arrange a consultation with one of our team.
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