It may come as no surprise to you given the fact that I spent the entirety of the Summer talking about how much I was dreading the Winter, but I hate this time of the year and I begin to feel a little blue. This is something that I’ve come to expect throughout the year, when the clocks change and the cold nights come roaring in, I’ll begin to feel a little bit down and out.
This isn’t anything new or uncommon though, many people start to feel this way as well and a good chunk of people also suffer with Seasonal Affective Disorder (aka SAD). It’s a type of depression that swiftly comes and goes as the seasons change and it’s been reported that 1 in 3 Brits suffer with the depression. If this affects you, you’re not alone. Many bloggers such as Beth Sandland have openly talked about their experience with this and the disorder is recognised by the NHS, you can get help if you need it.
As the times change in the Spring and the days get lighter, I always feel lighter too. My moods are less stroppy and I feel more elevated, I’m somebody that doesn’t suffer with SAD and yet the season affecting my mood this much only has me sympathising even more with those that do.
But in this post I’m just going to be talking about how you can lift your mood a little bit and help yourself, this is by no means me giving any expert advice and saying this is a home-remedy, because as I said, if you are feeling that down please tell somebody about it. Don’t suffer in silence.
So, how can I improve my mood?
1) With Lights
With any form of depression you are normally advised to go out and get some Vitamin D – basically, soak up the sun. This definitely works for me as I tend to thrive best when I’m in scorching hot weather with the sun beating down on me, but being in the sun all of the time isn’t realistic for everybody and especially those of you with full time jobs.
I had a quick google and found a Redstone light on Amazon which claims to be medically certified for treating SAD. The reviews are mostly positive and I don’t think £60 is bad for a lamp that is aiming to help your mood. The NHS currently doesn’t offer light therapy as a treatment because there hasn’t been enough research to provide any solid evidence that it actually works, but a fair amount of people claim it does which is why it gets recommended to you to try it out.
2. Get Creative
Another way of soothing your symptoms is by keeping your mind active, spend some time drawing or colouring in. There are many arts and crafts therapies which aim to help you make sense of things and understand yourself a little bit better, I had a look on the Mind website where they go into a fair bit more detail about this form of therapy, but I can actually advocate for it.
For me personally, when I’m feeling low, nothing makes me feel as good as doing something creative and getting my feelings out there either by writing or drawing them. It makes me feel good and is a nice way for me to get my mind off things.
I definitely feel like we could all do with a bit of time to just focus solely on one thing that is both relaxing and enjoyable.
3. Get active
If you want to release endorphins, which are known to make us happy, then the best way to get them to come out is through exercise. Whilst it’s the Winter and it’s cold, it’s also dark. So dark actually, that by 4pm all of the street lights are on. So, the best way to get active without having to go outside is to either work out at home or join a class at your local gym. My local gym offer spin classes for £5 a session and I’ve been considering going to them whilst we’re approaching the Winter as a way of helping me get fit and also increasing my happy levels.
4. Try Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy is known for helping you boost your mood as the essential oils that are used help to influence your brain, specifically the area that is responsible for controlling your mood. This influences your sleep and your appetite, for example: Lavender is known for making us feel sleepy thanks to the aroma, which also means that you don’t need to be spending big bucks in order to talk part in aromatherapy.
If you go to your local drug store and buy some essential oils, you can drop them into your bath before you go to bed so that they can help you to relax and get comfortable. I’ve read that essential oils which come from the poplar tree have been found to help depressive disorders in a study that was released in the Journal of Natural Medicines.
I also recommend spraying lavender spray on your pillows and lighting a candle or a wax melt throughout the day to keep yourself feeling relaxed and comfortable.
5. Just talk to somebody
There’s nothing more helpful than going out and talking to somebody about how you feel. The only person that truly knows what’s going on inside your head until you let it out is you. There are people out there that want to help you and if you’re feeling down and like the day ahead isn’t worth getting out of bed for, then pick up your phone and call your best friend, parents, siblings or even a hotline, there’s always somebody at the other end of the phone no matter how limited you think your options are.
Expressing how you feel will help you feel lighter and you may get some much needed advice and support, there’s no shame in asking for help and as I’ve been saying repeatedly: you’re not alone.