March 1, 2024

70% of Brits feel sluggish, agitated and low on energy during winter – here’s how you can combat it

New survey by Blinds 2go opens the discussion of ‘winter blues’ and how to tackle them this season

As the transition into winter unfolds, the diminishing daylight hours bring with them a unique set of challenges.

A recent survey of 2000 respondents by the UK’s leading blinds and curtains online retailer Blinds 2go has illuminated the profound impact this seasonal shift has on our wellbeing.

With the onset of earlier sunsets and cooling temperatures, an astounding 70% of individuals are grappling with newfound feelings of low energy, sluggishness, and agitation.

The survey also revealed that 16% of the UK population, or over 10 million UK adults, suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) during the winter months.

Around 10-20% of the general population experience winter blues, according to the NHS, which is more common than diagnosed SAD. However, the actual number could be even higher because winter blues isn’t an officially diagnosed condition and people may not report symptoms.

These emotions are not only timely but also resonate deeply with the ongoing concerns surrounding the cost of living crisis.

Here’s what you should do to combat feelings of low energy, sluggishness and agitation, according to experts:

1. Maximise natural light exposure:

Maximising natural light exposure is key to combating winter lethargy. Over 40% of Brits choose to enhance their home lighting, either through abundant natural light or the use of appropriate window treatments, according to Blinds 2go’s latest survey.

Leah Aspinall, Head of Design at the UK’s leading online blinds and curtains specialist, Blinds 2go, said: “Embrace shorter daylight hours by actively seeking out natural light and doing everything you can to welcome it into your home. Consider blinds in light colours that attract and diffuse sunlight, such as venetian or vertical blinds, perfect for larger windows. These can be easily adjusted to welcome sunlight into your space.

“Another effective choice are pleated  blinds, available in various opacities, with a unique cell design that diffuses light and provides insulation.

“Open your blinds and curtains during the day, spend time outdoors, and position yourself near windows when working or relaxing. Harnessing the power of natural light can help regulate your circadian rhythm and uplift your mood.”

2.  Adjust your home environment

According to the Blinds 2go survey, 77% of Brits admit that adjusting their home environment helped them manage the effects of changing seasons on their mood and wellbeing.

The NHS guidance on seasonal affective disorder recommends that you make your work and home environments as light and airy as possible.

Georgina Strumer, counsellor at  www.georginasturmer.co.uk said: “We can’t halt the changing of the seasons any more than we can hold back the tides of the sea.  But if we take the opportunity to make changes to our home environment, making it feel more light and bright, it can help us to feel as if we have more control over our everyday life.  This in turn can make SAD feel more manageable and less overwhelming.”

“Adjusting your home environment is a powerful way to combat the impact of seasonal changes on your well-being,” says Leah Aspinall, Head of Design at Blinds 2go. “I often recommend incorporating elements that create a sense of openness. Consider lighter paint colours, strategically placed mirrors to reflect light, and the use of sheer curtains or blinds to allow sunlight to filter through.

“These design choices not only enhance the aesthetics of your space but also contribute to a brighter and more uplifting atmosphere, making the winter months more manageable and less daunting.”

3.  Be as active and social as possible

Kamalyn Kaur, Psychotherapist at kamalynkaur.com said: “Get your body moving – the less you do, the less you will want to do, the worse you will feel. Get your body moving, and create that energy inside your body. Exercise also creates endorphins and serotonin – happy hormones in your body.

“Get outdoors to maximise daylight hours as much as you can. As tempting as it is to stay indoors where it is warm and cosy, you are reinforcing your mood. Start off with a 10-minute walk, you will find that once you are out there you will stay out longer.

“Another tip I can give is to be around people that bring you joy. Everyone wants to be indoors and stay home during winter, which can be isolating and lonely. It goes without saying, but spend time with people who make you happy and bring you joy to uplift your mood.”

Methodology

The survey commissioned by Blinds 2go via Censuswide surveyed 2,000 UK participants between the dates 21.09.2023 – 25.09.2023.