Now before I start, it's important to say that this post in no way belittles how horrible SAD is, I am a mild sufferer myself and have family who suffer far more severely. This post is hopefully a way of relieving some of the symptoms which most people will recognize as the days shorten.
There are a couple of things you can do that might help your body and brain adjust to the change in seasons..
No sugar overload
I'll be honest I eat sweet foods all year round, but I definitely eat more in the winter. Sugar actually triggers chemical reactions in your brain, which can make you feel sluggish and tired. When you combine this with the fact that your brain already undergoes chemical reactions in winter, it's no surprise that the more sweeties you eat the more you want to just stay on the sofa for the whole of the season.
I know it's cold outside, I know it's wet and yes, I know you'll end with a red, sore face. But trust me, exercise will make you feel so much better, both physically and mentally.
If you don't want to go outside, don't! I switch to indoor activies, so I increase the time I spend on the exercise bike as a substitute for running outside. I also make sure to do at least one PoPilates youtube workout every day (find Cassey on Youtube, she has a workout Calendar for you every month too). Paired with my normal regime of yoga, it's not that difficult to keep moving if you put your mind to it!
Brighten up your wardrobe
Another admission on my part here..my winter wardrobe consists of black, blue, white, brown, and more black. But if you feel gloomy, and it's gloomy outside, and then you wear dark clothes, is it any wonder that your mood is dark too?
Try and wear something brighter, keep those summer colours out a bit longer, just layer them up for warmth! Christmas is a time for sparkle, so don't hide away from sequins and glitter.
Busy body, happy mind
This pairs well with the exercise tip above, but it's for when you're not consciously working out. Don't spend all your time hibernating in front of the tv, I know it's hard.. I'm at my happiest with a book and cup of tea on the sofa under a cosy blanket! But get up, clean the house, do some gardening, do some crafts.. just keep your mind as busy as your hands!
Turn on the lights
One of the most popular ways of tackling SAD is with light therapy. You can buy sunshine lamps, or separate bulbs.
I spend most of the winter in my living room, as it's warmer than everywhere else (including my office unfortunately), so I've just bought an energy efficient daylight bulb for that room. It's made a huge difference already. I'm having to put the light on at about 4:30pm, which is when I'm normally still working away, so the daylight bulb keeps my energy levels high!
I'd love to know if you suffer from the winter blues, and if so how you tackle them? Drop me a comment below!
Stay safe, x