During the wintertime, it’s normal to feel less motivated as the weather gets gloomier. However, the colder months provide more than just a sense of restlessness for some.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a very real mental health condition, linked to the changes in seasons.

Presenting similar symptoms to depression, SAD can leave people having a lack of energy, feeling hopeless, losing interest in hobbies and developing changes in their eating and sleeping patterns.

It’s understood that the causes of SAD are related to lack of sunlight during the shorter and much colder autumn and winter days.

You might be wondering what the sun has to do with mental health, but it plays a vital role in the regulation of our hormones! Sunlight can influence our levels of melatonin, which is responsible for telling our body when it’s time to sleep. Having less sunlight can also affect serotonin levels, which is the hormones responsible for our mood, appetite and sleep. Try getting out into the sun in the mornings.

Keeping all that in mind, having SAD can be challenging and can add some difficulty in finding work.

That’s why we’ve come up with helpful and professional tips to help you get through those colder months.

1. Understand your health

When it comes to your mental health, the more you understand yourself and your illness, the better. Getting familiar with how your seasonal depression impacts your day to day life is a great tool to have when job hunting.

Recognising your triggers and be aware of moments in the day where you might be at your most productive, as that’s when you’ll find the motivation to look for work.

With SAD, we recommend applying for jobs during the day in an area of your home where you can get some sunlight.

2. Be patient with yourself

There is no sugar coating the fact that the job application process can sometimes be strenuous, even more so if you’re struggling with SAD. Having to find employment during a period where you know you’re not at your optimal mental state, is not easy.

The symptoms of SAD are very similar to that of depression, and so we suggest that you go easy on yourself.

Remain realistic in your expectations. Even at the best of times, finding work can be challenging, so try not to fall into the trap of comparison between your current state, and your mental health a few months prior.

3. Do it in steps

When looking for work, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, even more so if you’re experiencing feelings of hopelessness and a lack of energy.

To make things easier on yourself, set small goals to achieve during the day.

Such goals can include:

  • Updating your contact details
  • Update my skills set
  • Apply for a job a day
  • Practice interview techniques
  • Select the job that I’ll apply for tomorrow.

Placing these tasks in a list is great, not only to help you set up your day but also to allow you to tick off things as the day progresses.

By being able to remove a task from the list physically, it creates a real sense of achievement that can help you get on a roll.

4. Practice self-care

When dealing with SAD or any other mental illness, it’s important to practice self-care to help recharge your body and mind.

As SAD is linked to sun exposure, when you find yourself having some downtime, try and enjoy the outdoors and exercise for short periods during the day. Continue to reward yourself by doing things you like and allowing yourself to relax.

The time you take to look after yourself can add volumes to the amount of energy and time you have to achieving your goals.

5. How Jobedge can assist and support you

While all these steps are helpful, sometimes we need the encouragement and support of someone who understands.

As a Disability Employment Service Provider who can assist people with disability, injury or health condition, who are unemployed and looking for work, we can also help you work through your barriers to employment. At Jobedge, we’re able to not only guide you through the job application process, but we can also be a trusted source of support for your mental wellbeing.

We can connect you with employers and training providers, while also encouraging and supporting you through your journey.

At Jobedge, we have a unique approach to Disability Employment Services. We combine medical insight with expertise in recruitment, to give you the best chance of reaching your employment goals and improving your general wellbeing.

6. Finally, get support

Your Job Coach can be your trusted guide who will help you connect with employers, training providers or volunteer organisations.

“You might feel like you are the only person going through this, but you do not need to do this alone. Getting help and support is an important step,” says Jobedge Chief Medical Officer, Dr Paul Pers. 

Support can also mean your social networks like friends and families. Stay healthy and connected to others.

Connect with Jobedge

Jobedge is a new vision for Disability Employment Services in South Australia that brings together the knowledge of experienced medical practitioners, Momenta, with the expertise of national employment services provider, PeoplePlus.

Contact us today on 1300 598 528 or email us at [email protected] to start your journey with Jobedge.