In a recent article published by IOSH the symptoms of SAD are described as including:
- persistent low mood
- loss of pleasure or interest in normal everyday activities
- 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.
SAD can be a challenging condition for employees to manage, especially during the winter months.
As an employer, there are several steps you can take to support employees who may be affected by SAD:
- Encourage and open company culture: creating a supportive work environment where employees feel comfortable discussing their mental health can help reduce the stigma associated with SAD and other mental health conditions.
- Offer flexible working arrangements: allowing employees to work from home or to adjust their work hours can help them maintain productivity.
- Promote healthy lifestyle habits: encouraging employees to engage in regular exercise, eat a healthy diet, and get enough sleep can help improve their overall well-being and reduce the severity of SAD symptoms.
- Offer counselling: providing access to counselling services can help employees manage their symptoms.
- Encourage breaks: whether to leave the building for a fresh air walk or to converse with colleagues, maintaining social interaction.
- Encourage GP visits: medical professionals can carry out mental health assessments and suggest the best practice for moving forward.
If your company requires guidance or assistance on health & safety within the workplace, please get in touch with our team of expert health & safety consultants.