Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

As the days grow shorter and the nights draw in, we begin to close our curtains earlier, the autumn days signal reduced sunlight that may affect the way we begin to feel and we may experience low mood days.  This lack of sunlight can affect our body clock and we know that low mood days are not good for our lymphoedema.

You May Experience

Lack of energy, concentration problems, sleep problems, feeling low, guilty, hopeless, lonely, sad or tearful,  You may feel a loss of appetite or you may feel you are snacking more. Your feelings are personal to you but please reach out to our support group or talk to someone you trust.

Selfcare Tips:

Selfcare tips are always a personal choice and we all have different ways of taking care of ourselves.  What works for me may not work for you but please try to establish a routine that works for you.


  • Make the most of daylight

  • Let as much light into your home as you can

  • If you have a garden sit outside and have a cuppa (wrap up warm if you need to)

  • Spend time with nature (even if its watching the birds or the trees through a window)

  • Put on your favourite music - sing/dance around your living room - nobody's watching

  • Go out for a walk

  • Drink plenty of water

  • Meet a friend for a cuppa or a meal

  • Talk to someone everyday

  • Keep a diary



Where can I find help


  • Samaritans – open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to listen to anything that's upsetting you. You can call 116 123 (free from any phone

  • You can also call the Welsh Language Line on 0300 123 3011 (7pm–11pm every day).

  • SANEline – support for people experiencing a mental health problem or supporting someone else. You can call them on 0300 304 7000 (4.30pm–10.30pm every day).

Health & Wellbeing

Body Fuel

Body Fuel is essential for the autumn and winter months. That isn't an excuse to reach for the biscuits and chocolates or those salty savoury snacks that may increase your swelling.

We need more energy to keep warm and foods that will warm us up. Make your own stews and soups, wherever possible cook from scratch.  During the autumn and winter my favourite kitchen appliance is my slow cooker (crock pot). 


Whether you are a meat eater or you like a plant-based foods. Simply put all the ingredients in you slow cooker the night before or early morning and when you are ready to eat you have a healthy, warming meal full of nutrients and vitamins.

Get moving

Wherever possible get get outside go for a walk early morning or lunch time when there is daylight.  If you are at home wrap-up warm and have a cuppa in the garden or take a flask with a warm drink and go and sit in your local park.

Low mood is not good for lymphoedema and do keep the lymph flowing by doing some form of movement every day.  It is important to keep your mind busy to take up a hobby, read a book, listen to your favourite music.

Keep warm

As fuel bills rise around the world, keeping warm is essential for our health and wellbeing.

Layers are essential, hat, scarfs, gloves, socks, jumpers, cardigans and throws.  

Create mood lighting that gives a nice warm glow on those dark nights which will  also help to raise your mood levels.

Vitamin D

Spring and summer we should be able to get our vitamin D from the sun. During autumn and winter this can be more difficult.  We need Vitamin D to regulate our mood, support our immune system maintain healthy bones, teeth and muscles. 

Food sources of vitamin D are oily fish, red meat, liver, and egg yolks.

For those that prefer plant-based foods vitamin D is limited however, fortified cereals, grains, bread and soy or rice milk.

For the autumn and winter months you may want to use a vitamin D supplement..