As we move into the colder seasons it is totally normal that you might begin to experience a shift in your mood. With the shorter days also come the longer nights and colder temperatures — and this can be enough to impact your enthusiasm for each day and ability to practice self-care.
If you are someone who starts to feel their positivity dwindle at this time of year then there can be a number of reasons for this!
Today I want to talk more about the influence the changing seasons can have on our moods, and also discuss the self-care strategies that we can put in place to safeguard our health and happiness!
Seasonal Affective Disorder
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a condition that affects a large amount of people during the autumn and winter months.
SAD is a type of depression that may present when the amount of daylight changes, or when the natural routine of the body-clock is disrupted. It has also been attributed to changes in weather and temperature, as well as irregular melatonin levels.
The amount of daylight that we need in order to function well varies from person to person, but it is a very important factor in our overall emotional health and wellbeing.
If you feel like this is the reason for your low mood at this time of year, then it is always worth mentioning this to your doctor!
Even if you do not have a clinical reason for a low mood, then it is still of course possible to experience sadness with the change of season. This can happen for any number of reasons, and may not seem entirely rational or logical.
Sometimes simply acknowledging the passing of time, as is likely when the season visibly changes, can cause certain negative feelings to present. If this is something that you can relate to, then it is a good idea to consciously remind yourself of all of the good things in your life, and all of the things that you have to look forward to as time goes on.
There are a number of great strategies for picking your mood up and reminding yourself of everything that you take joy in.
Read on for my list of the best things you can do in order to best practice self-care!
Communicate Your Feelings
Sometimes having someone to talk to can be just what we need to make sense of our own thoughts.
Talking about the things that we are struggling with, and simply saying them out loud, can often be enough to take the power out of them, and in turn make them seem more manageable.
Journal Your Thoughts
Writing about your thoughts and feelings can be just as effective as talking them out with another person.
In fact, when you write in your journal, you can try writing as though you are having a conversation with yourself. As you are only sharing with yourself, this can be an easy way to allow your true thoughts about things to come to the surface.
Journalling about the good things that happen, and the happy thoughts and feelings that you do have, can be a great way to keep a note of these experiences. Looking back over them can then be helpful in more difficult times.
Be Kind To Yourself
Giving yourself the same degree of patience and kindness that you give your loved ones is so important. If you don't feel up to doing something that is causing you stress and anxiety, then give yourself permission to distance yourself from this thing.
There is nothing to be gained from putting yourself in challenging situations when you already know you're not feeling up to them.
If you're not feeling your best then you may find it difficult to relax properly. This can often be because when you aren't being stimulated by a task or chore, that you let negative thoughts circulate in your mind. This is when feelings that you have been suppressing may come to the surface and this can deter you from wanting to relax if you aren't ready to deal with these things yet.
Meditation can be a great way to help you process complicated thoughts, and can better enable you to get to the root of issues you are struggling with.
If you are not tempted by meditation, then going out for a gentle walk in nature can also be a great way to relax. The sights and sounds of the outdoors, coupled with the act of walking, can help to distract your mind from anything negative, whilst also giving your body some exercise.
Click for more advice on how to take this time for yourself!
Eat And Sleep
Eating and sleeping are two of the most important things for the body and the mind. However, if you aren't feeling great then it can be easy to negate the importance of both.
Keeping a food diary can be a simple way to make sure you are eating nourishing meals throughout the day, and can also help you to address problems with your diet. Doing so can help you see if you are over-eating, under-eating, or choosing foods that aren't giving you the vitamins, minerals and other healthy fuel that you need!
Having a bedtime routine is a great self-care activity can help to make sure you get enough sleep. You should aim for between seven and eight hours of uninterrupted sleep every night if possible. This helps to refresh your mind and rest your body, setting you up to be your best self the following day.
If you find that you are sensitive to noise, and that this is keeping you awake or disturbing you in the night, then investing in a good pair of ear plugs can help. You may also find that keeping your bedroom free from clutter and mess helps you to feel more at ease at bedtime.
Dealing With Stress
Sometime we persist living through stressful situations because this has become the default in our lives. And when this state is the norm, then both physical and mental health can be affected.
Giving yourself permission to change, permission to tackle the difficulties in your life, and permission to do what is best for you, will go a long way to helping you move through these issues.
Discover what it is you need to adjust in your own life, and then put a solid plan in place to move towards these changes. Set your boundaries with others in regards to these changes and only compromise as far as you are truly willing.
Being able to overcome the sources of stress in your life can help you to feel more in control of your days, which can help you to live with greater balance and self-care! This is something that I aim to help you do each and every week with my Get Inspired Newsletter!
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