As we are approaching the end of Autumn and heading into Winter, it’s time we prepared ourselves for the cold months ahead.
We have all heard of the phrase ‘winter blues’ but what does that mean exactly? Well, it’s how are mood is affected at this time of year. We become very depressed and experience low mood mainly because of the way the body responds to light and at this time of the year the lack of light can cause a change in our hormone levels. Light functions our body to stop the production of the sleep hormone melatonin, making us wake up. In the winter when it’s dark more melatonin is produced making us feel lethargic and depressed. We need the sunlight in order to make us feel better. This is also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
8% of the population experience severe symptoms, which can prevent normal function without the right treatment.
How can we prepare our minds for winter?
There are ways in which you can help yourself if you suffer with the winter blues, preparing your mind can help you overcome the feeling of depression and anxiety.
Talk it through
Talking treatments such as counselling and psychotherapy can help you cope with the symptoms. It’s great to be able to talk to a professional who will understand what you are going through and together find a way of coping. Please visit our Psychotherapy page or Counselling page for more information.
See your friends and family
Socialising is proven to be good for mental health. An invitation to a Christmas party or a night out may seem like the last thing that you want to do but make an effort to get out of the house even if it’s only for an hour or two.
Ok so the weather is against us, but what’s better than wrapping up warm and going for a walk through piles of crisp autumn leaves or if we are really lucky – walking through freshly fallen snow. If you have kids try resisting taking them round the houses in your local area looking at all the wonderful Christmas decorations!
What can you do in winter that you can’t do in the summer? Take advantage of going ice-skating, cosying up in front of a warm fire eating marshmallows and drinking hot chocolate.
How can we prepare our body for winter?
What we don’t mean by this is fuelling your body with lots of food that will make you feel better. Most people with SAD will have craving for sugary foods and carbohydrates. Balance your cravings with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables this will make you feel so much better and who doesn’t like a homemade stew?
Winter can be a very busy time of year especially in the run up to Christmas so take some time out for you. Treat yourself to a relaxing massage, we offer Deep Tissue Massage and Holistic Massage here at the clinic to help with stress and anxiety. Maybe some retail therapy will help? Anything that makes you feel good.
A daily one hour walk is enough to help with the winter blues. Diminished sunlight during winter makes serotonin, the mood-enhancing chemical in the brain, less active and unfortunately this shortage leaves you feeling tired and hungry, which can trigger cravings. Exercise can help to curb these cravings and help give you more energy. Exercise also releases Endorphins or the ‘feel good’ hormones, which helps to lift your mood.
Talk to the Norfolk Clinic, we are here to help
We have clinicians here at the Norfolk Clinic who are trained to treat and talk to clients suffering with depression and anxiety. Just some of the treatments we offer to help such clients are; Reflexology, Counselling and Hypnotherapy.
Please call us on 01603 660792 to book an appointment.