As the days grow shorter, the evenings longer and colder it's tempting to hibernate. How many of us are secretly relieved when an evening out is postponed or cancelled! We go home, draw the curtains and have a quiet night in, snuggled up watching box sets on TV. Bliss!
Some people become especially down over the autumn and winter months. Sleeping longer, finding it hard to get up each day they become depressed and generally out of sorts. Once the days become lighter they feel better again. Known as SAD or seasonal affective disorder, it can be helped by a light box, which simulates exposure to sunlight.
Here are some tips to help you feel better about winter.
- Getting enough daylight is important during the winter months. Our bodies use sunlight to schedule various important functions, so reduced daylight hours can disrupt our body clock. Try to get outside regularly, by maybe going for a walk over lunch and use weekends to catch-up on fresh air and exercise.
- A cosy home is especially important over the winter months. Add touches of colour with prints and furnishings, warm fabrics like velvet and wool, and introduce subtle lighting through side lights, lamps and candles. Good lighting can really improve a low mood and make a welcome haven for you to return to.
- Out diet usually changes from salads and barbecues to soups, stews and casseroles. Delicious comfort food to warm us up! Why not combine exercise and healthy food by going for a walk while your meal slow-cooks.
- Continue socialising and enjoy your home by inviting people round for fun evenings, like cards or board games combined with a little supper. You meet others, maybe take turns in hosting, whilst maintaining your relationships. Or have an evening where everyone contributes their 'best' dish. Provide a good reason to dress-up a little and minimise the caveman mentality.
- Perhaps find inspiration away from home by learning a skill like painting or another language, volunteering at a shelter or amateur dramatic group. Join a sports team where you're relied on to turn up so that everyone gets a game!
- Treat yourself well by managing stress levels, especially if you're vulnerable and feeling low. Talk things through with family, friends or a therapist.
And remember that each year animals and trees hibernate, but before very long new life emerges and the next year begins. Each season has its role.
Susan Leigh, Altrincham, Cheshire, South Manchester counsellor, hypnotherapist, relationship counsellor, writer & media contributor offers help with relationship issues, stress management, assertiveness and confidence. She works with individual clients, couples and provides corporate workshops and support.
She's author of 3 books, 'Dealing with Stress, Managing its Impact', '101 Days of Inspiration #tipoftheday' and 'Dealing with Death, Coping with the Pain', all on Amazon & with easy to read sections, tips and ideas to help you feel more positive about your life.
To order a copy or for more information, help and free articles visit http://www.lifestyletherapy.net