At this time of year many of us start to feel a little dim or lacklustre as the darker, shorter days and early nights draw in, and the crisp weather starts. It can also start to feel like a chore to get up in the morning, stay awake through the day, get through daily tasks, and push through the sludge or fog to go to work, take care of responsibilities and make time for self-care.

During this time of year many of us are often hit with seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or what I call the autumn or winter blues. You could take vitamins you might be lacking, such as vitamin d, or get a SAD lamp its daylight bulb emits a blue-white light to compensate for darker days - I call it a happy lamp!

To counteract any feelings, here are a few practical things I can suggest that may help, such as:

  • cook and eat healthy foods including vegetables, where possible
  • exercise to stimulate endorphins
  • talk to any upbeat relatives and loved ones. You can also temporarily limit contact with loved ones who don’t emotionally top you up or who you find draining - this may feel selfish, but self-care is important too
  • meet up with friends as often as possible, even if it’s bi-weekly or monthly, having something to look forward to can make all the difference
  • go out for nature walks, especially in the middle of the day when the sun is at its highest point
  • have a loved one over; where you can be vulnerable and dress casually but still connect and feel supported. Sometimes a laugh, a good cuddle or even a cry, if needed, can be the re-set we need
  • speak to a therapist about how you feel, so you’re not alone with a feeling of sinking or being stuck, which could affect your mental health and lead to depression.

Find out more

Read about Seasonal affective disorder and what therapy can help with.