With the skies still grey and the weather freezing cold even though it is already April, you may be tempted to pull the duvet over you head, hibernate and just shut your self off from the world. The craving for carbs, the lack of motivation and slight depression can all be signs of Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. Even if this is something you don’t normally suffer from, the lack of a good summer last year and the long cold winter this year may mean that you are suffering from it for the first time and wondering just why you are feeling so, well, Blah!
Light has a big effect on our bodies and brains with it specifically affecting the hypothalamus, which rules sleep, appetite, sex drive, temperature, mood and activity. And while the exact cause of SAD is not known, it is thought that it could be a reduction of serotonin production or melatonin.
There are a number of things you can do t make yourself feel better until the sunlight pokes through those clouds and temperatures begin to rise, wiping away with them those winter blues. And with daylight savings now here, hopefully that won’t be long!
1. Plan some enjoyable things with fun friends
We all have friends that make us smile and forget ourselves, that you always seem to be laughing with. Plan some get-togethers with these people and let their exuberance rub off on them. Make a pact not to speak about your troubles and just enjoy the lighter side of life for a few hours.
2. Avoid over-indulging in alcohol
While it may be fun while you’re drinking it, the depressive nature of alcohol the day after as part of your hangover will only exacerbate your feelings by reducing your serotonin levels. By all means have a glass or two with your meal but leave the heavier drinking til the sun’s out again.
3. Spoil yourself
Get a makeover, book into a spa, get your hair cut and coloured or buy a dress that makes you feel amazing – as long as you’re not using retail therapy as a crutch to feel better, barely acknowledging the purchases when you get them over he threshold, it
4. Plan a weekend getaway
They say that a change is as good as a holiday for making you feel better and getting out of your day-to-day living for somewhere new, whether it be a weekend in a cottage in Cornwall or a long weekend to Paris, the change of scenery can be just what you need to lift your spirits. What’s more the planning and anticipation can also help to stave off the blues.
5. Play music you love
Whether it is opera, classical, indie rock or pop, put on your favourite tunes, blast it out from your stereo and sing and dance along like no one is watching! This will release endorphins and loosen your body from its tensions.
6. Get outside and exercise
Whether it’s a run to sweep away the cobwebs or a long walk along the river with friends, getting some exercise, fresh air and, dare we say it, even a little bit of sunshine will do you the world of good.
So push off the duvet, grab your iPod and get outside to enjoy the world, even if you are no longer enjoying the weather!