This time of year is associated with many things, good and bad.
The good being christmas time, hot chocolates, cosy nights by the fire, winter walks, time off from work and spending time with those that we love.
However, for some people, the bad can take over all of these amazing things because they just can't stop feeling SAD.
We all know the term and the feeling 'SAD' - but did you know it also stands for seasonal affective disorder. This is where people suffer with their mental health significantly more in the darker, winter months. Symptoms include feeling depressed, lacking in energy, feeling fatigued all of the time and losing interest in activities you normally love.
Whether we have a diagnoses or not, most people I speak to about this say that they have days where they struggle during this time of year in one way or another.
This can be compounded when you are a homemaker and are susceptible to getting cabin fever because the thought of going out in the dark, cold weather is less than appealing.
This also applies to anyone who is working from home right now too!
Despite the causes of SAD being hard to control, there are things that we can do to make ourselves feel better.
Here are some things that help me:
White light mimics natural daylight and so immediately makes us feel more alert and happy. You can get 'SAD lightboxes' or you can just get white light bulbs. I personally bought some white light bulbs that I stuck on to my makeup mirror because; firstly, they are fantastic for doing your makeup because you can actually see what you are doing, and secondly they provide white light first thing in the morning that helps get me off to a good start.
I try to get out of my home for some fresh air every single day whether it is summer or winter. Cabin fever is a very real thing and I find if I spend too much time indoors I get headaches, irritability and I struggle to sleep. If it is really nasty weather and you don't want to go out for a walk then at least open a window and let in some fresh air.
Exercise for me is a real mood booster (not while I am doing it, but afterwards). I never thought I would be a person to say that exercise de-stresses me because the dread of doing it has always out-weighed the benefits. However, this year through COVID it really has provided me with an outlet and allowed me to really notice the endorphins afterwards. I think the key is finding something that you get some sort of enjoyment out of. For me, that is indoor cycling, I just get on my spin bike and lose myself in my music for 30 minutes. Then before I know it, the time is up and I feel a million times better afterwards.
Laughter really is infectious and it is there to pick up your mood even when you feel like laughing is the last thing you want to do. Watch a comedy, find some funny memes or just have a lighthearted conversation with a loved one. You really can laugh yourself into a better mood if you want to!
If you follow me on Instagram or YouTube now, you will know I love simple living. I think there is such power to be found in taking life slower, but this is even more true during the winter months. Naturally, we have less daylight, therefore we will have less energy and motivation to be productive. So, instead of fighting that, accept that during winter you may need to take it slower and that is perfectly ok!
I hope this blog post has helped you if you struggle in the winter months. I was inspired to write this post today as I haven't been feeling myself for the last week or so, yet today after some fresh air and exercise I have felt a million times better!