Believe it or not, it is not a coincidence that during the Winter months you almost feel like hiding away, hibernating and waiting for the warmer, brighter weather to reappear. It is also extremely common to feel a little down in the dumps or dare we say, blue.
The changing seasons can be beautiful; going from the gorgeous autumnal colours and smells of pumpkin, to the frosty white landscapes of winter. However, not everyone greets the changes around them with happiness or even the whisper of a smile.
It is said that at least one in 15 people in the UK suffer with the “Winter Blues” or its professional name, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD.) If you have never heard of it, SAD is actually a form of depression which is the result of a lack of sunlight. Symptoms can include feeling slow, low energy levels, over-eating and sleeping, difficulty concentrating, withdrawal from social situations and generally feeling sad.
So, what can you do to help beat those “Winter Blues”?
You’d be surprised but all forms of light or brightness can help combat SAD and so one of the easiest ways to fight the feelings is to bring more light into your home. Add in lamps, particularly LED ones which tend to be brighter.
Think about adding brightly coloured items, like cushions which can also help with a subtle mood lift.
You can actually consider attending light therapy or do this in your own home. All you need is a light box which is designed to emit wavelengths of light which are very similar to that of natural light.
You can also get special SAD lamps which are said to mimic sunlight. An initial “dose” of half an hour of light from either a light box or SAD lamp in the morning is the starting recommendation.
When in a depressive state, being social is one of the last things you want to do. However, if you can push past this and force yourself into social interaction, it really will help.
Not only is social interaction a great deterrent against depression, but it also helps lower blood pressure as well as stress levels.
One of the best ways to better your mood is increasing your fitness. Whilst exercising you create endorphins, as physical activity triggers their release and these endorphins, when released, make us happy and help combat feelings of unhappiness and low self-confidence.
The Winter Blues can be super tough but by using these techniques and not shutting yourself away, your mood will soon brighten and before you know it, Spring will be here.