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Does anyone else suffer horrendously from Seasonal Affective Disorder? I absolutely love it when Autumn starts to roll around, especially as you have the perfect excuse to enjoy some cosy nights in. However, I find as the months move on and winter well and truly hits, SAD starts to kick my bum.
Seasonal Affective Disorder is a type of depression that comes and goes in a seasonal pattern. It’s sometimes known as ‘winter depression’ or ‘the winter blues’ and is most severe during December, January and February. When spring comes around and the days start to get longer again, the depression lifts and we make the most of our lovely long days.
Having gone through this time and time again, I’ve managed to put together some tips on coping with seasonal affective disorder and general January blues. January is a stressful month: money is short, you’re back to work, the kids are back to school, everyone has slightly rounder tummies and it’s still cold and pitch black when you get up in the mornings! I think that the cure for the winter blues lies with self care.
Embrace Self Care This Winter and Beat The Winter Blues With These Tips
**This post contains affiliate links**
We have all just spent a fortune buying dreamy gifts for other people but now it’s time to treat yourself. I’m pants at buying things for myself – all my money ends up going on Luke and I rarely remember to treat myself to some new clothes or shoes. January is a great time to get some retail therapy in. A few new additions to your wardrobe can make you feel fresh, happy and confident as you start the first chapter of your new year.
LOTD is a great clothing company that offer great value and a huge range of clothes to suit everyone. They very kindly sent me a few items to get me through the winter months and they’ve definitely put a smile on my face. Lots of people have complimented me too, which does wonders when it comes to beating away that depression! LOTD offers fun clothing at a really affordable price, so if you haven’t checked them out yet, I really do recommend them. As well as being affordable, the pieces I have received from them have all been of excellent quality and I absolutely love them. I’ll definitely be shopping with them again!
To help kick start your new year wardrobe, LOTD have given Lukeosaurus And Me readers a great 20% off code for new in products!
Use the LOTD 20% off New In : NEW20
Take A Break
The first thing my boyfriend always says to me when I start getting upset and anxious is ‘take a break‘. I’m pretty terrible at handling stress – I’m also the type of person who agrees to way too much and I find myself stressed out, confused and frustrated. My advice for you when you start to feel overwhelmed is to just take a step back. Remove yourself from the situation and take a deep breath. If you’re staring at a computer screen and nothing seems to making any sense any more – get up, have a stretch, make yourself a cup of tea and then come back to it.
Find half an hour out of your day and get yourself outside. Going for a walk during this beautiful time of year will blow away any unwanted cobwebs and kick start your motivation and positivity. I find that my Fitbit usually gives me that little bit more motivation because I always want to make sure that I at least reach my daily goal each day. Reaching the daily steps goal also gives me a great sense of achievement…I am hugely surprised by the difference in my mood between days when I hit my goal and days when I don’t quite there.
I am guilty of hiding away under a blanket and avoiding the world when the SAD depression comes for me. Especially after such a busy festive period. It’s so easy to stay at home and pass up an invite, however, actually spending time with friends and loved ones is a real mood booster. It might not seem like it when you are begrudgingly getting ready, but when you get out there and find yourself surrounded by the positive influences in your life, you’ll soon feel much better.
Learn To Say No
That being said, make sure you keep the balance! Even though the Christmas meals, drinks and parties and will have fizzled out, there’s a good chance that you’re feeling blooming knackered. Sometimes, it all just gets overwhelming and you need to just say ‘no’. Jodie from Maidenhead Mum says, “…inevitably it will all become a bit much, so schedule in some downtime. Don’t feel guilty for being ‘lame’, it’s better for you to get better.”
Plan A Weekend Away
Getting out and about is a great way to lift your spirits, so why not get some of your friends or family together and escape somewhere for the weekend? We all love a holiday – they’re relaxing! So why not book a mini holiday or a weekend away during the months when you need that relaxation the most? You don’t have to opt for a week long, all inclusive holiday to Dubai – a lovely weekend break away in the UK or nearby Europe will benefit you just as much.
If you can’t afford to book a holiday for the winter months, Éva from Captain Bobcat suggests you “Plan your holiday for next year! Planning and spending time selecting where to go, booking flights and accommodation will not only be cheaper now, but will give you something to look forward to.” January is a fantastic time to look at great holiday deals, so get Googling!
Self love is about more than having a bath and a pamper session; you need to learn to love yourself enough so you can give your body what it really needs. In autumn and winter, we sometimes find ourselves lacking in Vitamin D – something we usually get from the sun. You can take supplements to help top up, but it’s also important you eat vitamin rich foods such as spinach (check out the most amazing spinach, feta and sweet potato pie recipe ever), mushrooms and oily fish. Vitamin D deficiency is linked to both depression and anxiety, so make sure you take/eat something to top you up.
After all the over indulging during the festive period, your body is probably craving some healthy foods! I have a few vegetarian family friendly meals available if you’re after some inspiration.
Light Up Your Life
It’s time to add a pop of colour to the area you find yourself spending most of your time in. Creating a space at home or in the office that is cheery and uplifting will help brighten up your mood. I’m a complete sucker for motivational wall art – my favourite prints have come from Dorkface Blog’s Etsy shop (bold, bright and colourful) and Not On The High Street. I dot cheerful prints around my work space; some are framed, and some are stuck to the wall using colourful washi tape.
Speaking of lightening up – a company called Lumie make a huge collection of alarm clocks and lights that are designed for those who have seasonal affective disorder. For £55, you can get yourself a Lumie Bodyclock Starter 30 Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock with Sunrise and Sunset Features. I’ve wanted one of these for years and I think it’s something I am finally going to have to invest in because I’ve heard nothing but brilliant feedback from users. Kim from Raising A Ragamuffin says, “If you can afford it, invest in a Lumie dawn simulator alarm clock. The light gradually gets stronger in the half hour before your alarm is due. I have Seasonal Affective Disorder and mine has become invaluable to helping me manage my symptoms in recent years.”
Notice Your Emotions
Ignoring the way you feel isn’t going to make you feel any happier. In fact, it will probably lead to you feeling overwhelmed and anxious. We lead very busy lives and tend to focus on other peoples emotions and well being rather than our own.
It’s good practice to take half an hour out to sit in silence and listen to your emotions. One way I deal with anxieties is to write all my worries and fears down onto a piece of paper in the evening, process them, and then crumple the paper up and throw it in the bin. Done! If it’s important and I need to work on it, I can do it in the morning. If it’s not important, I’ve thrown it away and won’t think about it again.
Set Realistic Goal and Keep Track Of Them
One thing that always makes me feel like I’m in control of my life is writing a good old fashion list. When I first got with my partner, he teased me relentlessly about my love of lists. Seeing everything I need to get done in one place (and in order of urgency) has become an invaluable tool for me. Time to put those fancy notebooks Father Christmas bought you to good use!
If digital lists are more your thing, try signing up to Evernote. I used to use this loads and you can sync your notes between your computer and phone.
Daily Dose Of Happy
Lastly, and maybe most importantly, do the things that make you feel happy. Every day, make sure you get your daily dose of happiness and do at least one thing that makes you happy, no matter how selfish that is.
**LOTD sent me these pieces in exchange for my honest thoughts and opinions on their clothing and service. All thoughts, opinions and images are my own.