Beating the Autumn Blues
Written by: Rosemary Channin
The nights are beginning to draw in and an Autumn chill is just starting to creep under the sheets. Perhaps, like me, you are starting to eye up your woolly jumpers and fluffy socks? The good news is that now is the perfect time to make a head start and be fully prepared for the colder months ahead.
At this time of year, something that many people experience, especially us sensitive types, is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), or Winter depression. In the last few years, I realised it was affecting me more and more each year, and that it was actually creeping up on me beginning at the end of August/beginning of September.
However, rather than listening to my GP and taking antidepressants, I decided to try more natural methods. I’m delighted to be able to share with you the things that have helped me the most, as inspired by some areas from the CE 8 Essential Elements Wheel – please try them out for yourself, and come up with your own too, which you could share in the CE Facebook group to inspire others.
Rosemary’s Top Tips for Great Emotional Health
Create a list of delicious, nutritious, warming recipes to try. Things that you feel excited to eat. Also make sure you’re up to date with all your supplements and check in with your CE Nutritionist or Naturopath to see if you might benefit from any additional support, especially if you are susceptible to catching colds or coughs during the Winter months.
If you do get symptoms of SAD it is definitely worth asking about a good Vitamin D3 supplement as soon as possible – it’s good to start building up the levels before all the grey days begin. Also, drink plenty of water to keep hydrated. I find warm water much easier than cold, and often add some lemon juice, sometimes with a bit of honey and ginger.
Who lifts you up? Who makes you laugh? Who provides interesting, stimulating company? Make a list of those people and arrange to meet with them – they will lift your spirits and help you to stay in a good place emotionally. Or perhaps it’s time to meet some new folks, who are more in alignment with you than the people you’ve been around in the past?
Make a list of your hobbies or things you enjoy, and have a look for local groups that might be doing some of these things. You could even create your own group. Depending on where you live, www.meetup.com has some fantastic groups including book clubs, board gaming, social coffee club, art club, singing for beginners etc.
Purify and cleanse the air in your home with some aloe vera plants or spider plants. Himalayan salt lamps work wonderfully too, and also provide a lovely warm light. Make sure you have at least one part of your house that feels really cosy and safe. Somewhere you can curl up with a good book under a blanket perhaps.
Check for any possibly damp or mould in your home – these will likely get worse over Winter and can seriously affect your health, so it’s important to get these sorted as soon as possible. Back when I was a student, I woke up one morning to find water running down my walls because the house was so damp. Needless to say I was not very well that Winter!
Remember, ‘environment’ includes outdoors as well – have you got an outside space that you can make pretty to look at so it gives you pleasure when you look outside? Perhaps some flowers in a pot or put out food for the birds so you can watch them.
It’s good to make the most of the changes in weather too – I love love photographing the trees as they go from green to orange and yellow, then brown. Why not go for a walk and collect some Autumn treasures to create a little nature scene at home?
It can be harder to motivate yourself to get off the sofa when it’s cold and grey, but keeping some kind of movement going is really important, both physically and mentally. If you are bedbound, some gentle stretches can be really beneficial to keep the blood slowing and to keep your muscles in use. For those of you able to move more, why not try looking up chair yoga on Youtube. A walk around the block even when it’s cold, can really work wonders, and it feels so good to have a warm bath or shower afterwards.
How about getting really creative and making a playlist to slow dance to? Or my personal favourite – moving meditation (hop on Google to learn more, and see if there’s a class near you so you’re spending time around other like-minded people).
Lifestyle & Pace
During the colder months, I find it really helps to have something to get stuck into. Something that inspires me, and that doesn’t necessarily mean leaving my nice warm house. I like to prepare some projects to get stuck into – I have a couple of smaller ones such as crafts or a list of new recipes to try, and one bigger one (my ongoing one is to research Hereford Castle with the eventual aim of creating a model). In terms of pacing (yuck! I prefer the word ‘balance’), take regular breaks, and do something less demanding on your brain.
Now is a great time to plan ahead. It’s easy to feel stuck at this time of the year, and it can be really helpful to set yourself some upcoming goals, and things that you will really look forward to. This doesn’t necessarily have to be as big as ‘life purpose’, but it could be! Remember to make it as real as possible – write down all the details, even create a vision board. Make them come alive and feel real.
Wishing you all a crisp, and inspiration-filled Autumn!
If you have any questions or you’d like to know more, please send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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