This weekend we saw the clocks go back and today the calendars turned to the 1st of November. The days are starting to get shorter and darker and whilst ‘cosy nights in’ and a build up to festivities are ahead of us, it can also bring on the ‘winter blues’ and potentially lead to SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder.
SAD affects a large proportion of the population and is associated with the lack of sunlight in winter and the dip in our serotonin levels, which then causes our mood to decrease. For parents who are also experiencing sleepless nights, emotional rollercoasters and exhaustion, on top of the darker months, it can trigger quite a stressful time!
So, what can you do to help yourself lift your mood during these darker months?
How to help with Seasonal Affective Disorder
Here are five steps to help lift your mood and combat SAD:
- Stay connected – Get in touch with friends and family and plan things into your diary over the next few months so you have events to look forward to. Arrange play dates with parent friends, so you can bring your babies together and entertain them more easily on those rainy days. Connection is so huge for lifting our mood. Other people help us to shift our focus away from what we might be worrying about and gain new perspective, often leaving us feeling a lot lighter. Plans in the diary also encourages us to be getting out of the house more too.
- Get outside – Even if it’s just for 15 minutes, wrap up warm and get outside with your little one. It can be so tempting to stay indoors and hide away from the weather on those rainy days, but that opens the doors to potential SAD and low mood creeping in. Put on your rain coats and your wellies and laugh about how soaked you’re getting in the rain, which makes the cosiness of the house feel even nicer when you do return home.
- Light therapy – Seasonal Affective Disorder light therapy has shown to boost energy levels and improve mood during those winter months. You can purchase SAD light lamps and wake-up alarm clocks to have in your home, which mimic the light you would get outside, without the UV. I have a ‘wake-up light lamp’, which wakes you up with a warm sunrise in your room and sends you off to sleep with a soft sunset.
- Adapt your morning routine – When waking up in the cold and dark mornings, it doesn’t often give us that get-up-and-go motivation. So, we want to be thinking about how we can adapt our mornings to make them easier and enjoyable. Having your morning prepared can make a huge difference in how your mindset starts off on a new day. For example, having a tasty breakfast prepped ready to start your day or having an outfit laid out ready to wear which makes you feel confident can make all the difference. Those are simple tasks and yet can make a huge difference in how your morning mindset flows positively.
- Get Active – The thought of doing a long, intense workout in the darker months can take a lot of motivation to build up, so let’s break it down and make it simpler for ourselves. Getting active can be done in so many different ways, like, dancing it out to your favourite songs! Set yourself just 10 minutes a day to move your body in whatever way makes you feel good!
Remember, there are always professionals on hand to talk to. If you’re not feeling yourself and day-to-day is feeling a struggle then call your GP, who will be able to provide you with the right level of support.
If you are a mum, looking for support on managing the changes that motherhood brings and want to make some positive changes to your day-to-day routines, confidence and overall feel more empowered – then please take a look at the one-to-one coaching packages I support mothers with! Services can be found on my Bloss Profile.