After years of not really knowing what people meant by S.A.D., this winter is the first that I've been feeling some of the effects first hand. I'm not depressed by any means, but something about the shorter days and gloomy weather has really been altering my mood over the past few weeks. In fact, all I want to do is sleep and eat. Admittedly they're two of my main priorities all year round, but the change in weather has led to me feeling even more lethargic that usual.
Make the most of every day
Waking myself up in the morning is one of the biggest challenges for me this year. While there's no denying that I have lazy tendencies all year round (my bed and I are close as can be), feeling as though you genuinely can't wake up, no matter how much you want to, is something that I'm thankfully not that used to.
Moping around feeling sorry for myself is one of my favourite things to do, but even I have to sometimes take a step back and realise that it's doing me no good. Getting up a little earlier and taking the time to do some gentle exercise before beginning the day has made a huge difference to my general mood. In fact, getting out and appreciating the few hours of daylight that we do have has probably made the biggest improvement of all.
Always have something to look forward to
The smallest things can make the biggest difference. Right now it makes sense to be looking forward to all things festive, but those few months after new year can drag unless you have something to focus on. Planning early for a summer holiday or arranging weekend city break for the beginning of spring can stop the warmer climates feeling quite so long away.
Replace what you're missing
I know about the benefits that the sun can have on our mental health, but I've never really thought about winter in the same context. After doing a little research, it turns out that there are a massive selection of vitamins and supplements available that aim to replace all the good stuff that we're lacking in at this time of year.
Embrace the season and treat yourself
My favourite tip of all. No amount of positive thinking will change the climate outside, so use it to your full advantage. Relax, light a few candles and take a warm bath. Nap on the sofa. Stay in your loungewear all day long. Make the most of having an excuse to wrap yourself in a blanket and watch nothing but Christmas films and kids tv. It's winter, after all.