For many people, the shorter, darker days of winter can trigger a feeling of low mood, depression and/ or anxiety.
There are all sorts of different theories as to why this happens, but if you struggle with “Winter Blues” or “Seasonal Affective Disorder,” also known as S A D, the causes don’t really matter, the important thing is coming to terms with the condition and learning to appreciate that there are steps which YOU can take to improve your mood.
Light The Way – Get outside into natural light as often as you can. Go for a brisk walk especially around midday when natural light levels are at their highest. Sit by a window when you’re indoors. You may want to look into investing in a Light Box.
Eat Yourself Happy – We tend to crave carbohydrates and sugary foods during the winter months which can cause extreme mood swings; instead opt for fruit and vegetables and foods which offer a slow release of energy to sustain your blood sugar levels. Taking a vitamin D supplement can also be beneficial.
Keep Active – the temptation to stay inside and hibernate can be overwhelming , and although it may be the last thing that you feel like doing, it’s really important to maintain friendships / a social life and exercise. Find winterproof ways to do whatever brings you happiness in the summer, whether that be walking, gardening, cycling etc.
By implementing these steps, you are putting yourself in control and being emotionally and mentally proactive.
If you feel that you could do with some support to deal with you Winter Mood, contact Counselling With Cheryl, based near Market Weighton. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) in particular is an effective way to combat SAD, and involves setting up tasks that challenge your behaviour, for example, resisting the natural tendency to socialise less during the winter.