10 Things you didn’t know about Seasonal Affective Disorder

It is winter yet again. The beautiful colors of the autumn leaves have disappeared and have been replaced by barren tree limbs and icicles sharp and brittle. The harsh winds rattle the window frames and the cold air seems to sing a cruel song that frightens away birds to warmer climates. The daytime gives way to the moon, and darkness sets in way before supper. So, you see, while some perceive winter as a festive time when their worlds are blanketed by cozy comforts, others feel that they are being suffocated by a literally colorless existence.

It is estimated that half of our nation are negatively affected by the changing seasons and darkening of the summer light. They feel depressed, irritable, and tired. Their activity levels decrease, and they find themselves in bed more often. This depression disorder not only affects their health, but it also affects their everyday life, including their job performance and friendships. This disorder is known as Seasonal Affective Disorder, appropriately acronym-ed, SAD.

What is SAD Exactly?

SAD is a mood disorder that affects an individual the same time each year, usually starting when the weather becomes colder and ends when the weather becomes warmer. People with SAD feel depressed during the shorter days of winter, and more cheerful and energetic during the brightness of spring and summer.

10 Things You May Not Have Known About SAD

  1. Did you know that between 60% and 90% of people with SAD are women? It’s true. If you are a female between 15 and 55, you are more likely to develop SAD. Great, so not only do women have PMS, Menopause, and child labor to worry about, add SAD to the list, too.
  2. Even though the harsh chill in the air might bring you down, SAD is believed to relate more to daylight, not the temperature. Some experts believe that a lack of sunlight increases the body’s production of a body chemical called melatonin. Melatonin is what helps regulate sleep and can cause symptoms of depression.
  3. SAD can be treated. If your symptoms are mild, meaning, if they do not interfere in and completely ruin your daily life, light therapy may help you beat SAD. Using light therapy has shown highly effective. Studies prove that between 50% and 80% of light therapy users have complete remissions of symptoms. However, light therapy must be used for a certain amount of time daily and continue throughout the dark, winter months.
  4. Some say that light therapy has no side effects, but others disagree. We think it simply depends on the person. Some people experience mild side effects, such as headaches, eyestrain, or nausea. However, these light therapy users say that the side effects are temporary and subside with time or reduced light exposure. Most scientists agree that there are no long-term side effects, but remember to consult your physician before any treatment decisions are made.
  5. There are some things to consider if you want to try light therapy in your home, otherwise you will not receive all the benefits that this type of therapy offers.
  • When purchasing a light box, do not skimp as far as money is concerned. Buy a larger one so that you will receive enough light to be beneficial.
  • The best time for light therapy is in the early morning. (If used late at night, it could cause insomnia.) So, even if it means waking up earlier, set aside some morning time to relax and use your light box.
  • Many people are not aware of this, but you must have your eyes open and face the light during therapy. Do not stare at the light. That would be silly. Simply face the light, eyes open.
  1. It takes more than just one winter depression to be diagnosed with SAD. Individuals must meet certain criteria:
  • The symptoms and remission of the systems must have occurred during the last two consecutive years.
  • The seasonal depressive episodes must outnumber the non-seasonal depressive episodes in one’s lifetime.
  1. SAD can be treated with certain medications that increase serotonin levels in the brain. Such medications include antidepressants, such as Paxil, Prozac, and Zoloft.

8. There is actually a device that conducts light therapy and allows you to walk around while treated. The device is called a light visor. Just wear the light visor around your head and complete your daily

Recovery after a robbery – an employers guide.

robbery prent


If your store, business, or office has experienced an armed robbery, your employees may suffer from trauma symptoms. In addition, staff not present during the robbery may also have emotional reactions.

In order to effectively support your employees in recovering from the traumatic experience and returning to normal, a business owner or manager needs to know what to say or do to promote healing. As South Africans, we are preprogrammed to believe that a bank or store robbery means someone is going to get hurt. We’ve watched movies or television shows where a robbery takes place and (almost always) someone is shot and often killed. The evening news only reports a robbery when it’s a large or unusual heist OR when someone is hurt or killed. Most other robberies that took place in the city that day are not even mentioned. Even though the vast majority of robberies do not result in injuries, much less death, employees in a robbery often think: “I’m going to get killed.” “I’m going to die.” “He’s going to hurt me.” “He’s going to hurt us.” “My friends/co-workers/customers may get hurt.” “They’re going to kill us.”

Humans have a primitive bio-chemical response for dealing with dangerous situations. This automatic response prepares the body to fight or flee from a real or perceived threat. The fear causes a chain reaction in the brain, releasing chemicals that cause a racing heart, fast breathing, energized muscles, and other physical reactions. In addition, the part of the brain that controls rational thoughts is bypassed. The more an employee thinks he will suffer injury or death, the greater his traumatization. It’s important to remember that everyone responds differently to a traumatic event based on each individual’s coping ability, values, life experiences, personality, support systems, fears, expectations, and beliefs.

Your employees may experience the same feelings at the same times, or one person’s feelings may be different from the others. Ideally, your company should provide the opportunity to meet with a crisis counselor who specializes in trauma recovery. Crisis counseling within 12 to 48 hours after the incident will help the impacted employees to normalize their feelings, educated them about their feelings and other symptoms, and help in lessening (or avoiding altogether) subsequent trauma symptoms. This will cut down on employee absenteeism, lost productivity, attrition, and workman’s compensation claims.

Even if you don’t have access to a crisis counselor, as an owner or manager, there are things you can do to aid your employees’ emotional recovery.



  1. Make sure managers, including upper management or the owners of the business, check in with the affected employees.

An important part of recovery for impacted employees is the perception that management cares and supports them through the healing process. Therefore management needs to make their communications to the employee in an empathetic manner. The day of the robbery, managers should call or visit the business to enquire about the well-being of their employees and help put the business back in order. (You may not be able to speak with the employees until after law enforcement is finished with their interviews.)

Your conversation should express dismay that the employee was affected, allow him/her to talk about her experience if he/she wants to (sometimes employees feel “talked out”), encourage her to take care of herself, and offer to be of assistance if the employee needs to talk in the future. Although you might need to discuss time off, in this conversation do not discuss other business. This isn’t the time to ask the employee if he’ll still be able to meet his sales goals. That kind of discussion will only give the impression that you value money over the well-being of the employee.

  1. Give the affected employees the option to go home or return to work the next day.

Some employees want to return to work right away because that helps them feel more in control. Others may need a few days away from work. Many businesses close for the rest of the day because interviews with law enforcement and their investigation, plus returning the store to order, may take hours. Also the employees may be too exhausted or upset to continue working. Be aware that hurrying employees to reopen the store within a few hours of the robbery may send the message that money is more important than their well-being. Some companies have policies that cover employees in case of a robbery. For example, the company can offer affected employees three paid days off. These days may be taken right away or at a later time if symptoms arise sometime after the event.

  1. Educate employees about how they might be affected. A robbery may cause emotional injuries to all who experience the incident.

The victim of a robbery may initially experience any or all of the following thoughts and emotions:

  • Denial • Disbelief • Shock                  • Fear                     • Anxiety               • Guilt
  • Hopelessness • Helplessness • Anger                  • Agitation

For the complete guide please leave your email address below and we will forward you the printable document free of charge.

Tiener selfdood

Een uit vyf Suid-Afrikaanse tieners probeer selfdood pleeg. Let op hierdie waarskuwingstekens:

Dit is tienerselfdoodvoorkomingsweek en die Suid-Afrikaanse Depressie-en-Angsgroep (Sadag) het kommerwekkende statistiek bekend gemaak oor selfdood onder tieners.

* Een uit vyf jongmense probeer hul eie lewe neem
* Die ouderdomsgroep 10 tot 19 is een van die hoogste risikogroepe vir selfdood
* Meer as ’n derde 38,3 persent het so wanhopig gevoel dat hulle ’n dokter moes besoek
* Amper ’n derde 29,1 persent het mediese behandeling benodig nadat hulle probeer selfdood pleeg het
* Amper ’n tiende 9,5 persent van alle onnatuurlike tienersterftes is weens selfdood
* Minder as een persent van die beddens in hospitale vir geestessiekes word aan kinders en adolessente toegeken

As jy oor jou eie of iemand anders se kind besorg is, wees op die uitkyk vir hierdie waarskuwingstekens. Die tekens kan beteken iemand loop die gevaar om selfdood te pleeg. Die risiko is groter as ’n gedrag nuut is of toegeneem het en as dit lyk of dit met ’n pynlike voorval, verlies of verandering verband hou.

* Praat oor wil doodgaan of jouself doodmaak.
* Praat van wanhopig voel of geen rede hê om te leef nie.
* Praat oor ’n las wees vir ander.
* Te veel of te min slaap.
* Afgetrokke wees of afgesonderd voel.
* ’n Beheptheid met die dood.
* ’n Verlies aan belangstelling in goed waarvoor ’n mens omgee.
* Mense besoek of bel om te groet.
* Reëlings tref; jou sake agtermekaar kry.
* Goed weggee, soos kosbare besittings.
* Ek sal nie meer in jou pad wees nie.
* Ek kan nie alles hanteer nie; die lewe is te moeilik.
* Niemand verstaan my nie; niemand voel soos ek voel nie.

Wat jy kan doen om te help:

* Jy is nie alleen hierin nie. Ek is hier vir jou.
* Ek verstaan jy het ’n ware siekte en dis wat die gedagtes en gevoelens veroorsaak.
* Jy glo dit dalk nie nou nie, maar jy sal weer anders voel.
* Ek kan dalk nie verstaan presies hoe jy voel nie, maar ek gee vir jou om en wil help.
* Wanneer jy wil opgee, sê vir jouself om net nog ’n dag, uur of minuut aan te hou –wat jy ook al kan baasraak.
* Jy is vir my belangrik. Jou lewe is vir my belangrik.

Alle dreigemente oor selfdood moet ernstig opgeneem word. As jy oor ’n tiener of jouself besorg is, bel Sadag by 0800 567 567, stuur ’n SMS na 31393 of besoek www.sadag.org

Clean house, safe house?

Be smart about using household products!

Be smart when you use, store, and dispose of household products.

Did you know that the products you use for cleaning, carpentry, auto repair and gardening can contain ingredients that can harm you, your family and your environment?

These products may harm your children and pets, cause physical injury to sanitation workers if put out for regular trash pick-up, and contaminate septic tanks or pollute the ground water if poured down drains and toilets.

Here’s what you can do to safeguard your family, your home and your community…


READ the Label
Before you buy, always check the product labels. Look for labeling that reads “DANGER,” “WARNING,” “CAUTION,” “TOXIC,” “CORROSIVE,” “FLAMMABLE,” or “POISON.” These warnings tell you if the product is harmful to you, your family and the environment, and how to use, store and dispose of it safely.


  • Pour harmful household products down a sink, toilet or bathtub drain unless the products are made for that purpose
  • Pour products like used oil or bug killer on the ground or into storm drains
  • Store leftover products in food or beverage containers

Pay close attention to the labels on:

  • Drain Openers
  • Oven Cleaners
  • Automotive Oil and Fuel Additives
  • Paint Thinners, Strippers and Removers
  • Grease and Rust Removers
  • Glues
  • Bug and Weed Killers
  • Mold and Mildew Removers

KEEP products in their original containers and store them safely away from children and pets

earthTRY alternative products when available

For everyday tasks, try household products that are less harmful. Remember to follow the same rules about storing these products and never mix these products together.

  • Glass Cleaner: Mix 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice in 1 quart of water.
  • Toilet Bowl Cleaner: Use a toilet brush and baking soda or vinegar. Note:these clean but do not disinfect.
  • Furniture Polish: Mix 1 teaspoon of lemon juice in 1 pint of vegetable oil.
  • Rug Deodorizer: Sprinkle liberally with baking soda and vacuum after 15 minutes.
  • Plant Spray: Wipe leaves with mild soap and water and rinse.
  • Mothballs: Use cedar chips, lavender flowers, rosemary, mint, or white peppercorns.

Health & Safety at the workplace

Informative news on Health & Safety at the workplace for both employers and employees. Know your rights when it comes to a traumatic incident.

During July we will be sharing regulations and need to know laws and procedure to follow for both employers and employees.

Please comment below if you need an assessment done or if you are in need of Health & Safety info regarding the handling and procesure in your work environment.

Yes we care and we are here to help.