We are in the middle of September, the weather has changed for the worse and the nights are slowly but surely drawing in. I can’t help but start to feel down and depressed this time of year as the sun seemingly disappears for the next six months and you spend more time in the dark than you do the light.
With 1 in 3 people suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), feeling low and depressed during the winter months is not a made up mental health issue. SAD can make you feel lethargic and irritable, leave you craving unhealthy foods and stodgy carbohydrates and can affect your sleep too, leaving you not wanting to drag yourself out of bed evert dark and dank morning.
I am not one to let it get on top of me and the last few years (especially since having kids) I have trying new methods to lift my mood as much as possible. I hope these tried and tested tips will help ease your symptoms of SAD too.
Get outside as much as possible
Now I have kids, I have no choice in the autumn and winter months to get out and about, whereas before I’d probably stay in bed all day watching Netflix. Kids really need to be out exploring and tiring themselves out and I found last year that by investing in some proper waterproofs and warm boots, we could get out no matter the weather, making me feel loads better. There may not have been a lot of sunlight, but the taking in the fresh sea air whilst walking the dog at the beach and the natural surroundings of the woods relaxed me and perked me up.
Low mood can be brought on by feeling cold, so don’t hesitate to put the heating on if it’s a particularly cold day and wrap up with thick jumpers, cosy socks and beautiful scarves and gloves. Drinking hot drinks regularly can keep you toasty warm, but try not to stay wrapped up in your duvet!
Eating the right foods will always make you feel better, but it’s easy to slip into bad habits when you’re feeling low. Start your day right with a warming bowl of porridge topped with fruit and seeds and make a fresh vegetable soup for your lunch. Avoid greasy takeaways and alcohol to keep your mood from dropping too low, but treat yourself once in a while to a nice small bar of chocolate or a glass of fizz!
Maximise natural light with the right windows
Our house doesn’t get the most natural light due to it’s positioning, so investing in aluminium windows can help maximise the natural light that floods through helping lift your mood considerably. Our bedroom currently had frosted windows which were installed by the previous owner and I found it difficult to wake up even in the middle of summer thanks to the lack of light. Making sure you let as much light in as possible will have a profound effect on your mental health.
Take up a new hobby
Keeping yourself busy and active is a great low mood buster and it’s a chance to meet new people and experience new things too. I love my hobby of blogging, it keeps the old mind ticking over instead of wasting hours watching TV and it’s given me the opportunity to meet a lot of new people too. Why not try swimming, a book club, creative writing or even knitting!