January Blues

Dec 2022
Advice, Mental Health, Occupational Health, Uncategorised


It’s the knowledge that after Christmas and New Year, people tend to hit a bit of a wall and begin feeling down – aka January blues. It’s completely natural to feel a little down at this time of the year. January, the month of cold weather, dark mornings and (possibly) failing in our New Year’s resolutions, collide to create ‘January Blues’.

So… what are the January Blues?

Season affective disorder (SAD), better known as January or Winter Blues, is a type of depression that comes in a seasonal pattern.

Although this may sound like a myth, NHS inform says, “There’s sound scientific evidence to support the idea that the season can affect our moods.” And mental health charity MIND state, “It’s thought that SAD sufferers are affected by shorter daylight hours in the winter. They produce higher melatonin, causing lethargy and symptoms of depression.”

As with all potential mental health issues, we must educate ourselves on the symptoms of SAD to easily recognise them in ourselves and others.

What are the Symptoms of SAD?

Symptoms of SAD can include but are not limited to:

  • A persistent low mood
  • A loss of pleasure or interest in normal everyday activities
  • Irritability
  • Feelings of despair, guilt and worthlessness
  • Feeling lethargic (lacking in energy) 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
  • Difficulty concentrating

Treatments for SAD (NHS)

Depending on the severity of the condition, SAD can be managed in several ways:

  • Get as much natural sunlight as possible
  • Exercising regularly
  • Managing stress levels
  • Light therapy
  • Talking therapies
  • Antidepressant medication

January can be difficult for many people; this can be due to various factors, the excesses of Christmas food and particularly alcohol, financial concerns and separation from friends and family. Therefore, it is essential that, where possible, we arm ourselves with the techniques to recognise mental health issues and struggles.

Christmas and New Year are critical times for people who suffer with depression. The pressure – on finances, emotions and our relationships with our friends and family – can feel excruciating at this time of year.


To find how Kays Medical can help your business and workforce with mental health challenges, visit our website: 


If you or someone you know is experiencing issues with SAD or any other mental health issue, please follow the links below for further information and guidance.

NHS: Seasonal affective disorder


NHS: Mental Health Services