With Fall being here, this is a joyous time of year filled with pumpkin patch fun and apple cider galore. But, for some, the cooler weather that comes along with the fall season brings a significant change to their mood.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons. It often affects people’s mood, productivity, and energy levels during the fall and winter seasons.
In this article we’ll discuss how you can support your employees who may be living with Seasonal Affective Disorder both in and out of the office.
SAD is categorized as a type of depression since known for being associated with major symptoms. This form of depression is a recurrent seasonal pattern, with symptoms lasting about 4 to 5 months per year.
Most commonly, SAD symptoms begin in the late fall or early winter and fade away during the spring and summer; this is known as winter-pattern SAD or winter depression. Although rare, people can experience SAD symptoms during the spring and summer months as well.
Supporting mental health in the office
So, how can you support employees dealing with Seasonal Affective Disorder? Let’s explore a few practices to implement into your office space.
- Keep the conversation going – Talking about mental health can be challenging for some. Providing outlets such as forums and events is a great way to start the conversation. Encourage employees to be open, if they feel comfortable, about their experience with mental health and show that you support them.
- Encourage staff to take breaks – Working nonstop leads to burn out and is never a good idea. Taking a break and recharging is an important part of stress at work. Encourage employees to take breaks by discussing the importance of them and curating your breakroom furniture and decor to promote complete relaxation.
- Maintain work-life balance – Instead of just talking about work-life balance, offer employees flexibility where it matters. For example, someone experiencing SAD symptoms may not be sleeping well making them less productive in the office. If possible, allowing employees to work remotely or make their own schedules could promote a healthier work-life balance.
- Plan company events – Sometimes being shown some appreciation makes a world of difference in a person’s mood. Regularly scheduling company events shows employees how much you value what they bring to the table. It also promotes teamwork and interaction between coworkers, helping them to open up and build stronger relationships.
- Schedule regular one-on-one meetings – Checking in with employees regularly is a sure way to gain a better understanding of possible struggles they’re having. It also strengthens relationships and leaves employees feeling supported.
All of these are great ways to show support for your employees’ mental health in the workplace.
How Edenred can help
Supporting your employees starts with the benefits you offer. Schedule a meeting today to see how Edenred can help you better support your employees’ mental health.