Many of us are affected by changes in season, particularly this time of year. Even though I love Autumn I know that with these dark mornings and evenings drawing in I have to put more effort in to staying on track. It’s hard to bounce out of bed to a chilly dark morning.
So, why are we so affected by this change that we know comes around every year? Shouldn’t we be used to it by now?
Well, during the Autumn and Winter months we see less of the sun than at other times of the year and it has been long since proven that this lack of natural light throws us out of sync, partly due to the fact the sun brings us our biggest quota of Vitamin D. The Harvard School of Health has found significant evidence that a major factor for people suffering from ‘Seasonal Affective Disorder’ (‘SAD’ for short) is lowered levels of Vitamin D.
Of course, there are other factors that affect the ´Winter Blues´ such as poor diet, lack of exercise, stress over time, money or family obligations with Christmas coming, stress over meeting important deadlines before the end of the year etc. The good news is that many of these things can be influenced by us, our mindset and actions.
How do you know if you are suffering from the Winter Blues?
This can vary from person to person but the most common symptoms are the following:
- Altered mood or attitude
- Lack of interest in daily activities
- Abnormal sleeping habits- sleeping more, less or suffering from insomnia
- Altered eating habits- often people crave more comfort food, more carbs
- Reduced motivation
So, what can we do to ourselves motivated during the long Winter months:
- Expose yourself to sunlight- an extra 15-30 minutes a day will work wonders on helping to boost your vitamin D level in turn improving your mood.
- Get more exercise- you don’t have to hit the gym for this-perhaps take a walk in your lunch hour, not only does this up your exercise but also your exposure to natural light.
- Implement a morning routine- people who have a morning routine giving themselves time to warm up for the day are more motivated and productive.
- Be aware your diet- with the party season looming it’s easy to get sucked in to all the party nights, drinking too much and neglecting your diet.
- Don’t overdo the caffeine.
- Make sure you’re getting enough sleep- Give your body time to reenergize.
- Get some ‘Me’ time.
- Be organised- this helps reduce stress and keeps you on track.
- Reduce stress- reducing stress has a huge impact on motivation and mood, once you have worked out the root cause of the stress you can get to work on diminishing it.
- Set yourself achievable goals and reward yourself each time you get there.
Don’t let these shorter, darker, cooler days of Autumn and Winter hold you back, try a few of the points mentioned above and let me know how you are getting on at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you feel you need a little extra help in staying motivated, reducing stress or getting organised drop me an email with the subject AUTUMN 2017 to receive a free session for any 2 full price sessions booked- Happy Autumn!