Stay Spritely and Light in Spirit this Winter
22nd November, 2016
Are you sad the summer is over?
If, like me, Winter is your least favourite of the four seasons, here are some hints and tips for staying super-stoked this season.
Seasonal Affect Disorder is a condition linking changing seasons to depression.
Many of us are not affected to the extent of being clinically diagnosed with SAD, that said a reduction in blue sky, sunlight and the shorter days can create SAD-like depression symptoms such as:
- a persistent low mood
- a loss of pleasure in normal everyday activities
- feeling irritable
- feelings of despair, guilt and worthlessness
- low self-esteem
- tearfulness, stress and anxiety
- a reduced sex drive
- becoming less sociable
Behaviour may shift in ways such as:
- being less active than normal
- feeling lethargic and sleepy during the day
- sleeping for longer than normal and finding it hard to get up in the morning
- finding it difficult to concentrate
- having an increased appetite or craving carbohydrates leading to weight gain
Happily there are actions we can each take to manage our energy and vitality…
1 – Get as much natural sunlight as possible – If you work in an office, explore how you can sit nearer a window, even in the Winter you will gain benefit from natural light through the window whilst you work.
2 – Step outside for some fresh air – even a brief lunchtime walk can be beneficial, this sounds obvious, but when the weather is cold or even rainy it can be tempting to stay indoors… You will be surprised how much positive impact regular time outdoors will bring and there is no such thing as bad weather only poor choice of clothing, so wrap up warm and get outdoors.
3 – Make your home environment as light and airy as possible, declutter draw back the curtains and blinds fully, wash your windows – yes I know it is winter and they will likely be rained upon, but you want to invite in as much light as possible.
4 – Eat a balanced diet and drink plenty of water.
5 – Take regular exercise particularly outdoors. If you can get to the coast the light will bounce differently within large expanses of sand, so go and enjoy some Blue Mind.
6 – Take measures to reduce stressful situations and steps to managing stress such as yoga and swimming.
7 – You may even explore getting a SAD lightbox to use for around 20 mins per day offering exposure to the blue light that you may feel is lacking for you.
8 – For those long dark evenings, when you have taken the actions above and the moon has risen… Lean in to the positive aspects of Winter – cosy up by the warm stove and connect with all that is Hygge about this Season.