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With the turning of the leaves comes a turn in the weather and the changing of the clocks. Moving back from British Summer Time (BST) can be a bit of a shock to the system, with the nights drawing in, and the weather at this time of year usually means that daytime is a dull, grey affair.

Knaresborough in WinterMany people find themselves feeling a change in their mood from Autumn onwards, in time with this shift in the seasons. They report periods of low mood, low energy, and listlessness. This serious shift in mood and personality is known as Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD.

Seasonal Affective Disorder is viewed as a relatively common condition, with up to 1 in every 10 people suffering with it to some degree. While doctors are not currently entirely certain as to the exact causes of the condition, there are several treatments available: it might be recommended that you have more lights on in the home, or take a vitamin supplement.

If you find yourself feeling much lower than normal over the course of Autumn and Winter, there is no need to suffer in silence. Speak to a friend or family member about your mood, and see if they’ve noticed a change in your disposition. If they have noticed a shift in the way you are, make an appointment to speak to your doctor about the way that you are feeling, and they will be able to help you.

Some of Orb's friendly facesComing to somewhere like Orb can also be of real benefit. Engaging in fun, creative activity with other people, helping your mind stay alert and open to learning new skills, and helping others to do the same – this in itself can lead to noticeable increases in feelings of mental well-being, and it’s the sort of stuff Orb does every day. Alongside a team of supportive staff and volunteers, people are encouraged to access the studio and rehearsal rooms, the IT suite, the art space and the Ecominds garden and to get busy singing, strumming, surfing, painting, growing or just getting involved in positive activity. If any of these activities interest you, and you’re free during the day, why not pop along to see us? There are many ways to get involved and Orb staff are always happy to discuss how you can get involved.

Of course, this begs the question: what if you’re not available during the day? Then have no fear, Orb caters to you too! We have recently launched our new range of evening classes (generously sponsored by the North Yorkshire County Council’s Innovation Fund), which include a Natural Voice Choir on Monday evenings from 6.30-8.30pm; an Arts & Crafts class on Thursdays from 7-9pm; and a Field Recording group from 6:30pm-9:30pm. Regardless of your level of skills or abilities, you are absolutely welcome to come along to classes: they are designed to be a friendly, open and welcoming to both newcomers and old hands alike. No matter whether you’re suffering with SAD, a bout of stress, a longer-term illness, or even a serious illness or disability, Orb is here waiting for you.

We firmly believe that creative activity can really boost an individual’s mental health and wellbeing, particularly when it is done inside a positive, social environment; and that is precisely what we aim to provide.
If you’d like to get involved with Orb as a service user, but don’t feel confident enough to come along to see us straight away, please feel free to contact us on 01423 202028, or send us an email to admin@willl13.sg-host.com, we would love to speak to you about getting involved.

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