Darker Nights, Darker Moods
A 2014 study by The Weather Channel and YouGov in 2014 reported that 1 in 3 of us living in the UK will experience ‘winter depression’ , otherwise known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). This can result in us feeling much lower in mood and having increased levels of anxiety. The study also reported that women have a 40% more chance of experiencing these negative symptoms than men.
With a lack of light it can feel harder to jump out of bed in the morning and we may feel the need to ‘hibernate’ in the evenings.
Some of the most common symptoms include:
■ Extreme low moods as the seasons change
■ Sleep disturbances
■ Decreasing levels of motivation and energy
■ Lack of concentration
■ Difficulty coping with everyday situations and finding things overwhelming
■ Feeling Pessimistic
The great news is that there are some things you can do to alleviate or minimise such symptoms – none of them are rocket science but they do take focus and motivation to maintain.
- Get out into the daylight: being outside helps to regulate our natural rhythms and gives us vitamin D. When you are indoors and there is no natural light, consider using a SAD lamp.
- Sleep: Aim for 7 – 8 hours sleep per night, as you will be able to handle stress more easily and see things more clearly after a good night’s rest. Try to keep to the same 7-8 hours a night, including weekends, so that your body has time to get into a regular, healthy sleeping habit.
- Smokers: Give up smoking (as well as the many health benefits, cigarettes contain many chemicals which studies show can increase bad moods).
- Maintain a healthy diet: What you eat and when you eat can have a direct effect on your mental and physical wellbeing.
- Reduce alcohol intake: alcohol slows the function of the central nervous system which can have a direct effect on emotions.
- Try to spend more time with friends: studies show that those of us with a strong social network of friends and family are less likely to develop feelings of depression and low mood. Even on those dark, cold nights, when we don’t feel like venturing out again, once with friends, we can feel so very much happier.
- Be kind to others. Studies show that offering to help others and doing good deeds help to lighten our own moods.
If you would like to adopt one or more of these healthy habits but feel that you lack motivation or that there is some other negative thought or feeling getting in the way then please do get in touch with us.
Here at the Odyssey Partnership (Epsom Hypnotherapy) we can support you to make the changes you want to make, whether it’s changing bad habits to good or helpful ones, learning to relax and de-stress, discovering how to motivate yourself or adjusting your sleep or eating patterns.
So, give us as a call, our clients often find that change is much easier than they imagined and many say that they wished they had acted sooner. There’s never a better time to be happy than now!