How To Avoid Feeling SAD In Winter In London

Posted on November 17, 2021

New to London? We run English language courses for professionals from everywhere from Japan to the Mediterranean. And often our students just aren’t used to the short winter days in northern Europe.

In their company English language courses people often tell us they’re feeling down in winter. Also they’re sleeping a lot, and staying inside because it’s cold now.

So we quickly realised that not everyone knows the best way to deal with dark winters. Or mitigate Seasonal Affective Disorder in London.

What Is Seasonal Affective Disorder?

When you can see the winter night drawing in and it’s only 3:30, it can make you feel panicky or depressed.

Have you had this feeling? It’s very common. Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD can affect anyone, and it’s essential to know how to manage it. Here’s what you need to do.

Get Outside

The worst thing you can do when you see the seasons change is hibernate away inside for the winter. You might feel like it. But this will reduce your exposure to daylight even more.

It’s important to get outside and get moving. Even when the weather’s cloudy!

Play Sports Or Take Some Kind Of Exercise

It rarely snows in London so you can easily play sports all year round including throughout the winter.

If you work from home this is super easy because you can plan your outdoor exercise for if and when the sun’s out that day.

You don’t have to run a marathon, but if you can get outside for 30 minutes a day and do something to raise your heart rate, it’s perfect.

Organise Your Exposure To Daylight

It could be best to ditch the tube in winter and take the bus to work if it will mean you get to see the day for longer. Or can you walk to work?

Where do you sit at work? Near a window? Make sure you get outside during your lunch break.

And how about at home? Are you making the most of the natural daylight while you’re relaxing, or working from home?

Which brings us to…

Don’t Lie In Bed Too Long On Winter Weekends


Normally we love a lie in too. But it’s bad in the winter in London. If you lie in until midday for example, you will miss a lot of the daylight. Much better to get up at say, 9am or 10am.

Plan A Winter Break

Don’t keep all your holiday entitlement for the summer. A week spent away, ideally somewhere sunny and doing some exercise, can do wonders for your mental health.
Winter sports, anyone? 

Do Something Social

If you’re feeling down you might not feel like socialising. But getting to know new people, taking up or revisiting an old hobby can really help your mood.

In London, we’re spoiled for choice when it comes to social groups you can join.

Learn More About Feeling SAD In The Winter

You can find out more about Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD here.

If you’re struggling with your mental health this winter, you’re not alone. A great deal of people on our English language courses tell us they feel down around this time of year.

It’s been a tough few years and you deserve to be OK.

So please don’t hesitate to ask for professional help if you want it. The Samaritans offer a wonderful, free telephone service for people in need. Alternatively, you can speak to your GP.

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