It’s the time of the year in the northern hemisphere where autumn is well underway and winter is coming.
Many people really struggle at this time of year with Seasonal Affective Disorder and may notice their mood turns from the buoyancy of spring and summer sunshine to feeling more low. About a quarter of the population is believed to struggle with this through the darker months of the year.
If this applies to you first and foremost please go and see your GP and talk to them. They may be able to offer you a number of ways to support you and not just medication.
If you are still struggling or know that you may ‘fall down’ into feeling more anxious feelings and despair then I hope these ideas will help you.
- use a daylight full spectrum bulb or lightbox in your home
- ensure you eat really well – reduce your intake of comfort processed junk food and be sure to eat a good variety of vegetables and fruit throughout the week along with healthy fats and protein sources. If you are craving sugary foods keep them out of your cupboards and ensure your fridge and shelves are instead well stocked up with nourishing foods. Learn to make a homemade soup, eat nuts and seeds (I have some recipes here on my blog and also have a Winter ecourse here).
- ensure you exercise and move for at least 20 minutes three times a week as a minimum. Consider joining a yoga or Pilates class or find out about other activities you can join in like a local walking group. If leaving the house is not an option have a look at Youtube and see if there is a movement activity on there that you would enjoy doing.
- It’s very easy to get into a pattern of staying indoors but it’s very important that you get outside as many days in the week as you can. Wrap up well with wellies and a raincoat if you need to but getting outside into some fresh air, preferably near trees is important. If you have a garden go and explore it – maybe build little wildlife areas for overwintering insects and sweep up as part of some natural movement. Consider meditating outside, taking nice breaths in and out and maybe even going outside at night to admire the stars if you can.
I gave a talk at Knutsford Library on Creating Your Perfect Morning a few weeks ago. This gave ideas on how to adjust to the time change.