I adore this time of year, there's definitely no doubting that, but that doesn't make it easy. If you're prone to depression, low moods, or season affective disorders, from now onwards, things start to get tough. It's still pre-clock change, but I'm already finding myself teary for no reason, achey, with a low appetite and generally feeling a bit down. The worse bit for me is knowing it is only going to get worse; the weather gets colder and the days get shorter. I thought I'd share some of the things I do to try and combat this time of year, in the hope it might help you too.
1) Stay Warm
A personal issue for me, but everything goes downhill when I get cold. I struggle to warm myself back up when I've got too cold, and that then affects my mood and energy levels. I do little things to help with this, I start leaving the house with more layers, and always opt for thicker socks. It's better to be too warm and remove layers than being stuck out with no way of warming up. I keep a blanket on hand at home, and if in doubt, stick the heating on.
2) Get Outside
As the daylight is on it's way out, it's time to get the absolute most of it you can. I try and get off the bus a stop earlier, or even just go for a 10 minute stroll after getting home, just to soak up as much natural light as I can. Without it I can't sleep at night which brings on a whole other host of issues. The exercise element definitely helps too, releasing endorphins which can only be a good thing at this time of year.
3) Focus On The Positivies
As I said, despite the harder parts, this is still without a doubt my favourite time of year. It's harder to realise it on cold, rainy dark days, but embrace the good bits. Go and treat yourself to a coffee, or go and carve a pumpkin (just a few of my faves!) There are plenty of lovely things to do, to name but a few: candles, fairy lights, pumpkins, halloween, blankets, hot chocolate, bobble hats, wooly jumpers, autumn leaves, burgundy lipstick, and the big one: Christmas is a coming!
4) Get As Much Light As You Can
If this year is a real issue for you, I'd recommend investing in a day-light. I have a Lumie Brightspark SAD Light Box
, which emits a bright light, but not too bright as you can't look into it. It helps to set you in a more positive mood, and for me, really helps my slightly peculiar sleep pattern. They are expensive, but in my opinion, worth every penny. I have mine on near my desk, and when I'm sat near it I can actually feel my stress levels lifting.
Please remember though, if you're really struggling, the most important thing to do is talk! Speak to family, friends, your GP, or check out somewhere like Mind
. If you have any tips for staying positive this time of year, I'd love it if you shared some!