As the dark nights begin to draw in, fairy lights adorn every branch, the leaves are falling off their trees in gusts of wind- it really starts to feel like Winter here in England. Coupled with the freezing temperatures and showers of rain that seem to have no end in sight, as well as it being dark when you wake and come home, leaves you feeling like hibernating.
I know that the first thing that I do when Winter happens is reach for my blanket, a book and some hot chocolate. I love the cosy nature of the season and curling up on my couch,
However, what if the lack of light makes you feel low, unmotivated, despondent and down right miserable? What if you are struggling to get out of bed to work? What if the winter season brings with it depression and despondency?
Seasonal depression can be extremely challenging. You may not want to go outside, socialise and see other people or even feel able to do the normally most basic of tasks. You may struggle with hygiene or going to the shops. You may cry and be more tearful than normal. You may even have negative and dark thoughts.
So what can help if you are feeling like this?
The most important thing is to admit to yourself, your family and your doctor that you aren't coping and think you may have depression. They can assess you and see what help you need if any.
Getting help from a partner or family member to shoulder the load and help with support can be very helpful, especially if you have children.
Anti depressant medications prescribed by a Doctor can be hugely beneficial to lifting mood, although they do have other side effects. As can the effects of 30 mins of gentle exercise each day.
Eating well with lots of healthy foods and vitamins can help too, alongside good sleep. It is so important to turn off blue light devices like phones and laptops for productive sleep.
A light box can help you get some more light and Vitamin D and you can buy them online.
Talk to a friend or therapist (or help line) about your feelings and try and replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Positive affirmations always help me feel a little brighter- its good to write down positive quotes on paper to look at when you are sad.
Most importantly, don't shoulder the burden alone. If you need some help this winter in easing seasonal depression, reach for it.