It’s the first week of September, which means Autumn is quickly rolling in. The days have got cooler, the nights a lot colder, dusk has arrived by 8pm, Starbucks has brought out the Pumpkin spiced lattes again and Summer is officially over in 2 weeks. What a bummer.
I love Summer, I always feel happiest and healthiest when the sun is beating down on me, sprawled out on a deck chair at my Grandparent’s beach hut. As soon as the days get longer, I feel like my mood increases. The sun is basically my own personal happiness machine: feel sad? Go get some sun. Have period pains? Go have a walk in the sun. Bored? Go read a book in the sun. So I can’t help feeling a little bit down that the nights are drawing in and Autumn will be arriving soon, with Winter closely following.
57% of adults say their mood is worse during the winter, with 1 in 3 people in the UK having Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Also, 40 per cent of people suffer from fatigue during the winter months. Many factors contribute to low moods over the Winter months, one being that of our personal body clock. The NHS states “your body uses sunlight to time various important functions, such as when you wake up, so lower light levels during the winter may disrupt your body clock and lead to symptoms of SAD”. Also sunlight is linked to our serotonin levels, less sunlight leads to lower serotonin levels which could lead to depression.
For as long as I can remember, Winter has always affected me. I have a lot more days that I feel down for unknown reasons, I get fatigued and un-interested in hobbies and I just don’t feel myself as much as I do in summer.
In preparation for the colder months I’ve written a small list to help combat the Winter Blues:
Get as much sunlight as possible:
I know, I know, it’s cold and miserable outside, and all you want to do is stay in bed. But getting outside and going for a walk helps a tonne, even if it’s just popping around the shops or a small walk around the local park. Every little helps.
The last thing I want to do on a wet and cold morning is get up at 6am to work out. However, after the first initial 10 minutes of hating life I actually feel energised and a lot better for the rest of the day. Even doing one or two exercise classes a week in the evenings helps, the endorphins really do make you happier.
The more I lounged around getting bored, the more I was painfully aware of how dark and cold it was outside. Making time for family and friends is ideal in the Winter months: have a sleepover with loads of films and food, go round your grandparents for a roast dinner, go on woodland walks with friends.. the list is endless.
One thing that excites me about the colder months, is a new wardrobe. I revel in being able to get out of tight fitting skirts in the Summer and be able to wear baggy jumpers and leggings all day every day.. oh so comfy. Go out shopping with some friends, find some new jumpers, hoodies, bed clothes, some fluffy, warm socks make all the difference.
Although I haven’t tried it, the NHS advises that light therapy for bad suffers of SAD helps. Light therapy is a special lamp that stimulates sun exposure, so you can get some sun while not even leaving your bed.
Go have fun in the snow:
Nothing brings out your inner child quite like a snow storm. In the UK we rarely get snow, so when we actually do all our social media is full of snaps of fresh footprints in snow and snowball fights. It may be cold and gross outside, but it’s always fun to get out in the snow, make snow angels, have a snow fight or build a snowman (Disney’s Frozen has forever ruined that phrase for me now). And it’s always fun to accidentally, maybe on purpose, pelt someone in the face with a snow ball.
Hope this helps! If you have any other tips please comment below 🙂