Today I feel like sharing with you this thing that always gets me when October comes…. This phenomenon called Seasonal Blues, or Winter blues, or Seasonal Affected Disorder (SAD)! The days are obviously shorter, and especially in London, it gets much colder, it rains a lot, we don’t get much sunlight, and from one day to another I went from wearing a tee-shirt with a little leather jacket to a big wool cable-knit pullover 🙄🙄
I admit that fall has some good sides as well: the colors of the trees are beautiful, everything is a bit calming down compared to Summer time, people tend do stay indoors much more and everyone is excited just thinking of that warm cup of tea or cacao or coffee that they are going to have. Many people get excited with Halloween preparation or Thanksgiving (depending where you live :-)) ), and some others start organizing Christmas holidays. Cinemas are fully booked even on Friday and Saturday evenings (I couldn’t believe how all movies were sold out for my first Cinema attempt in years….!), people are slowly changing their habits and obviously there is some good in it.
I am personally very sensitive to that season change. My body loves warmth, sunlight and light clothes and that’s when I always feel my best!! But I have some tips that help me get along better with the colder season. I know I am not the only one feeling a bit blue at that time of the year so I hope that those tips will help and inspire some of you as well!
1. Go outdoors and enjoy natural daylight
YES: beat the cold and the rain and go out! Don’t stay indoors with synthetic lights all the time. Your body needs to go out, to breathe fresh air, to see some natural daylight (even if it is very grey and cloudy and rainy). You need this time out to keep your circadian rhythms balanced. This is how your body will know when to keep you awake, and when you can fall asleep at the end of the day. Also, breathing fresh air and walk outside, whether in a park or not, has many other health benefits. It helps decrease stress and anxiety, it is a moment for yourself that you can use to meditate or do some self-reflection. It is usually a very creative moment and the benefits are not just physical.
2. Back to Bone Broth!
Another great tip: BONE BROTH! (See ARTICLE HERE). I must say that this magic soup should be taken over the whole year, but when it is sunny and warm, it doesn’t seem that appealing…. So now is the time! Finally we can start consuming this health treasure on a regular basis again. And it feels so good, not only for your body that will enjoy it tremendously, but also for the mind! It has a direct soothing effect and it feels warm and comforting, perfect for this time of the year. Spice it up with Ginger and Turmeric, and even Chili Pepper to boost the warming effect :-) If you are vegetarian or vegan, start having great vegetables soups but don’t forget to add good healthy fats in it to boost your overall health (coconut oil for example, see ARTICLE HERE).
3. Color your life up!
And I am the worst on this: my clothes for Fall/Winter? Mainly Grey, Black, and sometimes some White stuff but quite rarely. NOT GOOD. There is a reason why trees are yellow and orange and brownish at this time of the year! The colors you see have a direct impact on your mood. So if everything is already grey and dark, don’t make it worse! Be creative and fashionable with great warming colors like orange, red, green…. It works! It lifts your mood and give you more energy. If you are not ready to wear bright orange sweaters all the time, start with your socks and your underwear 🙋💃.
To take it to the next step, Light Therapy (not just white light) is recognized now as a good help to relieve depression, anxiety, fatigue, restlessness…and SAD (Seasonal Affected Disorder). Light is a potent bridge between your physical and your energetic body. It has a direct impact on your hypothalamus, pituitary and pineal glands: and those are your body’s major health keepers. Your Immune system, endocrine system, nervous system all depend on them. Light and color are powerful friends. Not only in what you see, but also in what you eat. Eat the rainbow! Think of your plate as a rainbow model and mix colorful foods. Again here, different colors in your foods have different health benefits and we should enjoy them all.
4. Vitamin D and K2
If you live in a country where the daylight is really rare, you are most probably lacking vitamin D. This vitamin is essential for your overall good physical and mental health (See article about Sunlight HERE). Have a good vitamin D3 supplement but if you do so, you HAVE TO TAKE a Vitamin K2 supplement as well (See Vitamin K2 Article HERE). If you don’t, many benefits regarding vitamin D are diminished and it can actually be quite counterproductive. So take it into consideration and choose good quality supplementation.
5. Epsom Salt Baths and Essential Oils
I already wrote an article about those magical baths, SEE HERE. But in the case of Seasonal Blues, I do think that those can make wonders. They boost your Immune System, and you feel better, stronger and more relaxed at the same time. But by adding great Essential Oils, you can multiply the therapeutic benefits from those baths! Essential Oils influence the limbic system, and therefore can control your moods, your sleep pattern, your mindset, your overall energy levels. You can choose essential oils to help change your body on all levels. Regarding this Seasonal Blues, the most potent Essential oils are:
- For Emotional Support (not an exhaustive list, just the ones I found worked best):
o Frankincense Oil (SEE HERE to know more about this powerful oil)
o Rose Otto
o Ylang ylang
- To boost low energy levels on dull days (my personal favorite list):
o Peppermint (SEE HERE for more info on this one)
6. Keep on moving
It gets more difficult to go to the gym or to the dance class when it is pouring down. But there is always a way to move your body, and it should still be a priority for you. You really don’t feel like going to the gym? Ok, stay at home and do some great home exercises! There are so many exercises that you can do in your living room. And it doesn’t need to be draining, you can have a good stretching session, or do some Tai Chi… The most important is to keep on moving those fluids in your body :-) And no, no need to drain yourself for 2 hours. 30-45 minutes can be more than enough with a well designed workout program. So educate yourself and ask a professional (I would recommend CHEK Holistic Health and Fitness coaches, they are amazing 🙌💪 ) to design a program suited to your lifestyle and your needs. Nothing better for mental and physical health.
7. Stay Positive!
I see this time of the year as a way to work more on myself, to take a step back on what happened this year and learn from my own mistakes. This quiet time allows me to re-think it all and maybe change some bad habits, work on new projects, get more creative and also be more indulgent with myself. It is time to pamper yourself! I am a positive person naturally, but, OH YES. I have my grumpy days, especially now when I look at the window and it is dark, raining heavily, as if nature was telling me: just stay under your blanket and don’t move! But hey, there is always a positive side for everything. Even the rain and the cold can be good sometimes! I am finally finishing my book I started reading 3 months ago, I am finally taking care of paperwork (which I never did before because I preferred to be outside enjoying the sun), and I can invite my best friend at home in my pyjamas because I know she just wants to stay on the couch under the blanket with a cup of tea and talk all night about our girls’ secrets 🙊💕 (I think she will recognize herself here). The point is: don’t play the victim and take action. Keep on improving yourself and on being the best you can be, at that time of the year :-) Laugh about your swinging moods if this is so, but don’t let it put you down. Embrace the change because at the end, we only get better by facing new challenges (Yes, this season change can be a real challenge for many people).
Hope this article gave you some good insight and that it will help you be more positive and happy when days are more difficult…. Just remember: you have the power and control of your life and you are the one creating your own reality. Want a happy day? It depends on you, and only you.
In Love and Happiness,