Sunday, 22 May 2011

Winter Woes

Its so cold here at the moment, I was absolutely freezing the other da it was so cold I was wearing gloves! The wind was arctic and it has been snowing on the mountains. Due to the days getting shorter and it being colder I’m not going to be getting my vitamin D levels and will probably also get SAD (seasonal affective disorder).
I had SAD last year, I discovered it when I was studying one of my text books (I did a post grad certificate last year), and it had a checklist of questions which were symptoms of SAD. I was really worried at the time because I was feeling bad about stuffing my face all the time, and just feeling very unmotivated and lacking in energy.
Some of the unfortunate symptoms of SAD are overeating (leading to weight gain...eek!), lack of energy, depression and difficulty getting out of bed in the morning. Light therapy, medications and taking melatonin under medical supervision are all recommended but that means going to see a doctor, which means we would have to summon up the energy to make an appointment and go.
When I got it last year, I felt relieved that there was a reason why I was feeling the way I was. I think it is always good to knowledge about what is happening to your body so you can effectively combat it. Last year on occasion when the sun was actually making an appearance and it wasn’t raining I would make the decision to go outside for my lunch when at work, and also on the weekends I would try to sit outside for atleast half and hour, with as much of my skin exposed as possible, even though it was rather cold at the time. It felt really nice being out in the sun. 

I also decided that I should change my eating habits. I decided that if I was going to eat a lot of food, it might as well be packed with nutrients and proteins and that it should be as healthy as possible. I got a lot of healthy cookbooks and started making lots of warming meals that could be frozen so that I could stockpile them. Because it was winter I think that I am more susceptible to the lurgies (germs, colds and flu’s etc) and eating healthy is a good way to improve your immune systems functioning.

Going to the gym for me is such a mood enhancer. Last winter I used to get out of bed every morning at 5.30, quickly have a shower, breakfast and get ready, then jump on a train to work and I would go to the gym for an hour every morning (the gym is one of the perks of working at my hospital, so cheap and convenient). I find that if I’ve had a rough day at work, and I’m tired and cranky, and have to force myself to go to the gym, its usually then that I really need to go to the gym. I find that after a good training session I feel so energised and happy, I will be bouncing off the walls. When we were kids mum always used to tell us to go for a walk or run around, play with the dog if we complained we were cold (or we could start the fire). This is because exercising increases blood flow around the body and also uses energy which warms us up.

I think winter is also a good time to make sure that you pamper yourself. There is nothing that I like better than hopping into a nice warm bath after being out in the  freezing cold. It is the best feeling ever! My skin always reacts badly to winter (dry spots and other spots), and so I try take make sure that I was switch up my routine and start using a nourishing and hydrating heavy moisturiser and I will start using a creamy face wash, as harsh face washes just exacerbate the skin and make it drier. This year I have decided to also make sure that I really pamper my skin and keep on top of my skin routine and have masks and other treatments. A hydrating serum such as blooms rosehip oil (I love this stuff it is my go-to serum) also helps combat the effects of winter. Using brightening moisturiser also makes your skin look less weary from winter’s harsh effects.

I think that in winter it is important to make sure that you make an extra effort to look after yourself and just take extra time for yourself.  Or go on a holiday overseas, somewhere where it is hot and skip winter altogether:)
do you have any good tips for alleviating the winter blues?
pictures from

1 comment:

  1. This is really interesting! Its spring/summer in England now, but I do really suffer with SAD in the winter and these are some great tips for when the cold sets in again to help keep my spirits up :) x