Oh, dear. The sunshine is disappearing earlier, and there’s a wee nip in the air. This means only one thing . . . summer has left us and the cold of autumn and winter is on its way.
I hate the cold. I’m not charmed by crisp mornings and dark nights.
You see, I’m one of those people who’s always cold. I adore the heat, so this time of year plays havoc with my mood. And I’m not alone.
20% of people in the UK experience mild symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder, called “subsyndromal SAD” or the “winter blues”.
Do you want to build a snowman? NO!
Snow and ice means one thing to me . . . anxiety!
Travel disruption (and general disruption), scary driving conditions and icy, wet hassle just make me dread the white stuff. I wish I could look out a blanket of whiteness and feel wonder, but I don’t.
It makes me yearn for sunshine, beaches and balmy nights.
I take a vitamin D tablet and try to go to bed early, but this year I’m going to try some other things to help.
We’ll all still be working from home, so there won’t be the usual distractions of looking forward to our Christmas lunch, Secret Santa etc.
So what can be done?
Essential oils can influence the area of the brain that’s responsible for controlling moods.
A few drops of tea tree oil or lavender in your bath can bring on a sense of well-being.
It may feel like the last thing you want to do, but exercise can get those mood-improving endorphins going.
Try to get as much exposure to natural light as possible.
Even a walk around the block at lunchtime can help.
Stick to a routine
It’s easy to indulge in a lie-in on occasion, but getting up early will help you sleep at night.
A supplement will help here. And vitamin D, which we usually get from sunshine, has a wide range of health benefits anyway, which is a bonus!
I start taking mine from August onwards.
It’s so tempting to indulge in lots of comfort, stodgy food, but eating bananas, oily fish and lots of fruit will help.
You’ll also feel better about yourself as you didn’t resort to eating a full packet of chocolate biscuits in one sitting.
Mind games . . .
Keep telling yourself that winter is only temporary! Every day that goes past is one day closer to spring.
I used to get upset looking out at my barren and bleak garden, but rather than thinking of everything as dead, I think of the garden as “sleeping” and just waiting for better weather!
Obviously there are varying degrees of SAD, and you should always seek professional medical advice if you’re really struggling.
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