A recent study conducted among 2,000 adults has revealed that Brits experience an average of eight sad days per month, with a quarter of them feeling at their lowest during the month of January.
Various factors contribute to the winter gloom, including adverse weather conditions, shorter days with dark mornings and evenings, and the overall feeling of coldness.
In response to these findings, a mood-boosting billboard has been unveiled, designed to dispense light therapy and help alleviate the January blues. The 4.4 x 6-metre advertisement, shaped like a giant doughnut box, emits white light that can aid in tackling Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
Emma Colquhoun, spokesperson for Krispy Kreme, the company behind the research and installation, stated, “We’ve just had Blue Monday, often referred to as the most depressing day of the year, making this week arguably one of the toughest. And the study indicates we’re not far wrong. From the national average of nine low moods in January, we hope today won’t be one. Opening a box of doughnuts is one way to bring joy into people’s lives – so we wanted to make that literal. This is the only doughnut box in the world to deliver light therapy that can help banish Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).”
The study further revealed that the first month of the year is when people most strongly feel the need for an injection of joy. Spending time with friends and family emerged as the top method for combating the January blues, followed by activities such as listening to music, relaxation, and spending time outdoors.
However, on average, individuals spend less than an hour per day outdoors during winter, with only an estimated 44 minutes of that time exposed to direct sunlight. Alarmingly, one in five people get between one and 15 minutes of sunlight per day during the winter months.
The study also uncovered that the average Brit does not go outside to enjoy winter daylight for almost three days a week. Additionally, 21 percent of respondents admitted to keeping their curtains closed during the day to retain heat, inadvertently blocking out natural sunlight.
Nevertheless, 52 percent of individuals consciously make an effort to spend time outdoors, recognizing that it improves their mood, with 56 percent believing that direct sunlight is the most effective way to combat low mood. As a result, 32 percent have contemplated moving abroad to seek more sunlight due to the British weather.
The doughnut installation provides 10,000 lux of white light, which is the recommended amount for creating an ambient daylight environment. Dr Shelley James, director at Age of Light Innovations, explained, “Bright light, especially in the morning, can help boost your mood in three naturally powerful ways by helping the brain to regulate mood hormones, supporting alertness and making it easier to fall asleep. SAD lamps work because they can supplement natural light to give our brains the brightness they need to rise and shine. Getting outside into natural daylight can top up your mood-boosting system when the sun just isn’t breaking through as well as giving you a chance to get a little exercise. Bright light at the right time can even help you sleep better too.”
Emma Colquhoun from Krispy Kreme added, “We’re really hoping to brighten the day of anyone walking past our SADvert today. Daylight and Doughnuts? It’s a joyful combination we’re happy to share.”
Top 10 Activities for Lifting Mood among Brits:
- Spending time with friends and family
- Listening to music
- Resting and relaxing
- Going outdoors
- Treating oneself
- Entertainment (Film, TV, podcasts, and video games)
- Reading a book or listening to an audiobook
- Spending time in nature
- Indulging in enjoyable food