Autumn is officially here. We’ve all enjoyed the extra hour this weekend, but now the reality of the shorter days is now upon us. How can we take care of our mental wellbeing during the transition into winter months?
Many of us are prone to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) when we are affected by the lack of sunlight and cooler winter termperatures. This can be caused by the disrupted levels of melatonin, which is responsible for our sleep patterns and mood. The lack of melatonin can cause us to feel more sleepy and lethargic and plunge us into increased anxiety.
But how can we stay resilient in the shorter dark days, with lack of sunshine and Vitamin D, which is vital to our mental wellbeing?
We share some ways to keep positive through the coming months.
Autumn has an abundance of healthy vegetables gorged with vitamins and nutrients to help boost our immune system, including beetroot, broccoli, cabbage, kale, pumpkin, broths, roasted squash.
Whilst it’s tempting to give up the gym in the colder months. Our endorphins and serotonin still need a boost to increase your mood. If you can’t face the gym, make the most of the outdoors and enjoy the sunshine whenever you can. Take a brisk 15 or 20 minute walk each day and enjoy the rich warm colours of autumn.
Be kind to yourself and give yourself permission to curl up and enjoy watching a film or reading a book.
Don’t let relationships suffer during the shorter cold days. It may be tempting to cancel catch ups and nights out, but its exactly social support that can lift our mood and enhance our wellbeing.
Psychotherapy, through counselling is a very effective way to combat seasonal affective disorder.