Our modern way of working means that we are working less and less outdoors, and in more sedentary occupations and for longer hours. In fact, just two hundred years ago 75% of the population worked outdoors, now less than 10% of the population work in natural outdoor light. Our modern-day habits also include watching more TV, phone, tablet and computer screens. This all has had an impact on our physiological as well psychological wellbeing.
In the summer this may not affect us so much, but in the winter as we get up in the dark and return home in the dark, we begin to suffer from UV light deficiency. In the UK we are more especially affected as we are in the northern hemisphere, where the daylight hours distinction between summer and winter is more pronounced.
Our circadian rhythm or body clock struggles to make sense of this. This is important, because the circadian rhythm affects our internal body functions, such as food digestion, appetite for food, energy levels, sleep quality and length, and mood. Having insufficient quality and length of natural light can cause symptoms of SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as the Winter Blues.
- persistent low mood, depression even
- low energy: lethargy, lack of enthusiasm for life, sluggishness
- low libido and sexual appetite
- disruptive sleep patterns
- carb / sugar cravings – a yearning for comfort foods
- feelings of inadequacy and worthlessness
- despair and prolonged sadness
- overwhelm and anxiety
- introversion – not wanting to be social or going out to meet people.
Here are our 7 best suggestions to counteract SAD:
- More exercise, especially outdoors (go for walks, runs) – as exercise stimulates the release of the pain-relief and feel-good hormones of endorphins and dopamine.
- Book a reflexology treatment as this can re-balance your hormones and stimulate the pineal gland – the body clock gland.
- Book a massage treatment – to stimulate release of endorphins and serotonin, especially the latter for enhancing your mood.
- Book an Energy Alignment intensive session with Esther (minimum of 90 minutes required chargeable at £80). This session aims to help you release all the negatives in your life and align to a positive resonance. Call Esther on 07864 056919. Once you’ve tried it, you may like to start my new 8-week programme Life Lift Therapy – read here for more information.
- Check in for a session of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (I have a client who does this and can recommend her);
- Light therapy – use of a light box to simulate exposure to sunlight.
- Book a mini vacation – perhaps even get connected with someone who lives in a warmer climate and who might consider a temporary house-swap. This could be a great way to manage regular escapes to the sun during our bleaker months here.
January / February 2020: 2 massage and/or reflexology treatments for the price of 1 (cheapest one free by applying the coupon code Boost20).
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