Monthly Archives: October 2015

Tips for Beating the Winter Blues

I don’t know about you but it really doesn’t seem that long ago that I was looking forward to the summer months, wearing summer dresses, impromptu picnics, BBQ’s, basking in the sun…well sort off! It is the UK after all.   All of a sudden, it’s late October, the clocks have gone back and the nights are drawing in.  I feel like saying…”who stole summer”.  If you are feeling the winter blues approaching, here’s a few tips that could help. 

For years when I was younger, I use to hear people say “time goes quicker as you get older”.  I use to dismiss this because to me a term at school felt like forever.  Now I know what they mean, somehow time does seem to go more quickly now compared with when I was younger.

Beating the Winter Blues|Seasonal Affective Disorder

Courtesy of Unsplash.com | Ales Krivec

Over the past few years I’ve discovered a new appreciation for autumn which I don’t recall having when I was younger.  I use to really dislike autumn.  I saw it as each day passed summer drifted further and further away…and the cold and dark nights made me feel more and more down.  In a way, I guess I use to view it as though summer was dying.  I never really saw how the changing of the season from summer to autumn was actually something quite beautiful, which is how I view it now.  Don’t get me wrong, I love summer, it is and always will be my favourite season.  But now, autumn doesn’t hold the same doom and gloom as it use to.  Autumn, for me now, is something which has a silent beauty to it which shouldn’t be viewed as something negative.

What changed was my perspective towards the season.  I use to see the end of summer as that, an end.  Which it wasn’t, it was just the next phase of the cycle and each changing season bringing something new.  With this new found perspective I’ve found my winter blues are no way near as bad as they use to be.

Do you Suffer from the Winter Blues?

How do you view Autumn? As the season to the gateway of the Winter blues or your favourite month?

If you find you suffer from winter blues, take a moment to think about what you appreciate about each of the seasons.  How do you view them? As an ending? A beginning?

Many of us are affected by the changing of the seasons.  Its quite normal to feel more energetic and happy when the sun is shining.  Then when the nights draw in, we can have a tendency to sleep longer and possibly feel a bit low.  I notice a difference in my mood with the changing of the seasons and I can have a tendency to get a little low when it’s gloomy outside (mind you no where near as bad as I use too).

Beating the Winter Blues|Seasonal Affective Disorder

Courtesy of Unsplash.com | Pablo Basagoiti

Autumn really is a beautiful time of year, which is probably quite an obvious thing to say, but I use to focus on what I was missing about summer rather than what autumn had to offer.  If you find you start to feel a bit down at this time of year because it’s getting darker earlier or the temperatures dropping, try this; go for a walk or to a location where you can really appreciate the colours of autumn and really look.  By that I mean stand and really appreciate what you are looking at, give it your full attention (you could even think of 3 things that you could consider a gift to yourself from where ever you are).  If you don’t get a chance to do that, take a few moments to notice how your everyday surroundings change with the seasons, either on the way to work or running an errand.  We see the same scenery every day……but notice how different it looks at different times of the year.  I drive down the same bit of road most days but the other day I noticed how beautiful the leaves looked in there autumn colour.

If you find yourself suffering from the winter blues or just feeling a little low as the nights draw in, here are a few tips that can help:

Eat Healthily 

I don’t know about you but sometimes when the temperatures start to drop, I reach for the carb-comfort foods, which are great in moderation but remember to stock up on seasonal vegetables and fruits rich in vitamins to balance out the carbs.  A good balanced healthy diet will help keep your energy levels up and boost your mood.

Plan ahead

Beating the Winter Blues|Seasonal Affective Disorder

Courtesy of Unsplash.com|Toni Lluch

Sometimes, as we plunge head first into winter it can seem like there is nothing to look forward to, which I know can make me feel a bit down in the dumps.  How about you?  During the summer I love spare of the moment picnics or firing up the BBQ on a warm summer’s evening…well…..summer evening, once again it is the UK but you get the idea.  During the winter months there are quite a few calendar events to look forward to and you can always create your own things to look forward too.  I was walking past the TV the other day and I heard a man and a woman being asked what they thought of halloween, the woman’s response was “an excuse for a party!”.  This made me laugh but I also thought, what a good point.  Why not organise a party for halloween; small or large.  Dig out that old witch’s hat and get partying.  If a party sounds like too much hard work to organise, and lets face it an impromptu picnic might not be the best way forward as the frost settles on the ground, why not organise a different sort of get together like a family walk.

Make the most of the Sun

The cold months sometimes make me want to hibernate; I’m not a fan of the cold!!  I really enjoy curling up by the fire and it can be a bit too easy to look out the window and decide it’s a bit too cold to go outside and you run the risk of turning into a bit of a couch potato.  As autumn and winter set in and the days get shorter, sunlight is a little more hard to come by so it’s important to make the most of it.   This can be done in many ways, you could go for a walk or, as you have your morning cup of tea or coffee, stand outside and enjoy the sun, even if it means standing out there in your dressing gown.  You could also, if you prefer, sit by a window and have your coffee.

Socialise 

Beating the Winter Blues|Seasonal Affective Disorder

Courtesy of Unsplash.com | Anita Peeples

It’s been shown that socialising with friends and family is good for mental health so to help beat the winter blues, go out and see friends and family.  Getting together with friends or family (or both) for Sunday lunch is always a good idea (even better when there is no washing up to do).  Accept invitations to socialise, even if you go along for a little bit, it’s better than not going at all.

Try something new

A new hobby would be a great way of getting out the house.  If it is raining and dark and not very inviting you are more likely to get out the house and socialise if you have somewhere you need to be.  Possibly try something this year you’ve always been meaning to do but have put off until now because something else always comes up.  What have you always been meaning to do or try but haven’t….sketching, dancing, painting?  Fill in the blank below or post your new hobby, because you are more likely to do if you make it public.

“I have always been meaning to try……….”

Are you suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)?

Seasonal Affective Disorder is a form or depression that occurs at certain times of the year or season.  Everyone can feel a bit low when the seasons change from summer into winter.  If you suffer from SAD, the seasons changing will have a big impact on your mood and energy levels and you will suffer from symptoms of depression which could interfere with your everyday life.  It’s estimated, in northern Europe, one in ten people experience some symptoms of SAD (www.mind.org.uk).

Have the Best Winter Possible

Beating the Winter Blues|Seasonal Affective Disorder

Courtesy of Unsplash.com | Aaron Burden

Not many things are guaranteed in this world but one thing that is guaranteed is the changing of the season and I’ve lean’t to appreciate each of them because without one you can’t have the other.

If you are suffering from SAD or you are finding the winter blues a bit too much, why not give me a call to see how I can help you beat the winter blues, so you can have the best winter possible.

Read more about how Cognitive Hypnotherapy could help you…