Winter blues and seasonal depression and anxiety are a real thing!
Are you wondering how to support someone through the winter blues?
First step, what is the simple way of understanding the winter blues?
It may seem like the obvious, but with cooler weather, more rain and less sun our bodies are heavily affected by this reduction in daylight hours and vitamin D. The reduction in sun exposure is associated with a drop in your serotonin levels (also known as the happiness hormone), which can lead to heightened anxiety and depression with seasonal patterns.
For some people this is something they are faced with every year. This is called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) which is a type of depression that comes and goes with the seasons, typically starting in autumn and early winter and going away during the spring and summer.
How can we prepare for the winter blues?
We have put together our top 5 tips for you to use or share with someone to support them through winter:
- Make a plan to get outside and do an outside activity every week (with a friend or solo). Fun examples include:
- A picnic with hot tea/chocolate, blankets and heat packs while lying in the sun
- Put as many layers on as possible, a rain coat, gum boots and bring out your inner child by jumping in puddles
- Work in the sunshine when it comes out
- Walk to get a coffee each time you see the sun shine – sit for 5 minutes in the sun
- Hot Yoga or Sauna
- Beat the cold and warm up your bones by visiting a pool Sauna
- Check out your local Gym and sign up for Hot Yoga classes
- Alternatively run yourself a hot bath or have a hot shower when you come in from the cold to warm up quickly and in a relaxing way
- Enhance light in your home
- Local homeware stores sell Daylight Lightbulbs, which replicate daylight and feel more like natural light which is commonly used to help prevent SAD
- Open your curtains! Open all blinds and curtains as soon as you wake up to get as much natural light inside as possible
- Include a few more lamps or bright wall hangings in your living space to brighten darker areas of your living areas
- Maintain a sleep schedule
- Darker mornings can make it more difficult to wake up, but keeping to a sleep schedule helps to maintain your body clock and prevent feelings of lethargy
- Winter months tend to mean that we spend more time indoors, but try to maintain your social life as much as possible by getting out of the house to meet family or friends. Or why not host a track pants and hoody movie night at yours and embrace the cold by enjoying the rest.
- Come along to our B.OK Buddy Community Meetup in Sydney on Friday May 24th at 5;30pm. A chance to meet
the B.OK Buddy Community, have fun and watch Vivid from the VIP location in Opera Bar. Those of you who are not in Sydney, let u know and help us organise one near you.