Manage your mood now for winter
The heat may be deceptive but meteorological Autumn has begun and the signs of the season are becoming faintly obvious as the leaves turn and most noticeably the days shorten.
Over my years of coaching clients I’ve witnessed patterns of behavior, that I believe, are inextricably linked to the colder, shortening days. Basically the reduction in daylight hours.
Signs to look out for:
Mild to moderate depressive feelings
Increase in negative thinking
Anxiety and irritability
Decrease in desire to socialise
Weight gain and overeating
Fatigue and difficulty waking up refreshed
Low immunity and increased illness
If you have symptoms that you are unsure of I’d suggest speaking to a medical professional but if you feel that your symptoms are daylight related there are practical things that you can do, right now.
- Increase your time outside to expose yourself to daylight.
- Take exercise outside in nature, walking being ideal.
- Invest in daylight simulators and light boxes for Seasonal Affective Disorder.
- Eat regularly, reduce sugary foods for energy and avoid dieting.
- Keep a diary of symptoms.
- Seek professional support.
Why now? Basically you want to keep dosing yourself with daylight to prevent the winter slump. Reactive responses mean that come January you are on the back foot. Perhaps suffering from many of the symptoms I’ve highlighted, without the required motivation to act. You’ll be more likely to resort to medication when actually you may find natural preventative measures work very well for you.
There’s also increasing evidence that the symptoms may actually crop up throughout the year, depending on our exposure to sunshine, so it can be a great idea to use a light box as your desk lamp.
If you are working indoors, as so many people do, keep a diary of your daylight exposure. You may quickly discover that you leave for work in the dark and return in the dark and will definitely benefit from the simple act of increasing daylight exposure.
So rule out anything else that may be causing your symptoms and if you are generally well you may just find you can make next winter feel so much better.
Don't want to do it on your own, need support? Seek a coach who understands and helps you to set realistic goals.
Enjoy your Autumn.