I’ll be honest with you, I’m feeling pretty blue right now. And it’s not just an average case of autumnal lethargic disengagement. I am sleeping badly, eating badly and watching bad TV. I’m even struggling to find the motivation to move from the sofa to make myself a cup of tea. I haven’t been writing, have barely exercised, and have gotten a little too aquatinted with packet noodles for my liking. Things are bad.
This situation is familiar to us all, and completely expected. Whether you’ve just returned from an epic holiday back to reality (check), in-between jobs (check), frantically house hunting (check) or simply getting used to the colder season (check); the blues are a natural way our bodies and minds tell us we need to slow down, acclimatise to our surroundings, and give ourselves lots of love and TLC.
I have so much in my life to feel grateful for right now, but I still need a lift to make myself feel happy, healthy and confident for the winter months. My mantra for October has certainly been: ” It’s OK to admit you’re not OK”.
I cried yesterday because I got stuck in traffic. I have increasingly been oversleeping, just because I can. My vegan diet mostly consists of carbs and coffee. I have bags under my eyes bigger and bluer than an IKEA bag…..
TLC time starts TODAY!
So besides wine, facials and a personal life coach, how can you beat the blues in a natural, green and healthy way? As someone who is no stranger to blue days, here are some things I have found successful in bringing the sunshine back:
5 Natural Ways to Beat the Winter Blues
Yup. Sorry lazy beans, but when you are feeling blue you may be tempted to sleep more, and that’s actually not so good for you. Rest more, slow down a little, but don’t touch that snooze button! In fact, according to Psychologies magazine this month, a study at University of Arizona found that more than 8 hrs of sleep a day can have detrimental effects long term on our health and lifespan!
Tip: Invest in quality sleep by limiting food/drink and using computer screens before bed. Start a pamper routine and use natural lavender products to ease you into a deep relaxing sleep. That way the amount you do have is much more beneficial that 10 hours of light sleep! I use A Perfect Potion Lavender Balm on my pillow every time I need a chill out.
Believe it or not, I truly believe our bodies need more food in winter, and a full belly can radically effect our mood. But before you reach for that second jacket potato stuffed with pasta, what we pig out on is much more important than the amount we consume. If you’re feeling blue, load a bowl up with any of the following and munch away:
- Berries -Blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries may help prevent the release of cortisol, a hormone produced by the adrenal gland, and reduce stress induced anxiety.
- Hot Chocolate – science consistently backs up our habit for reaching for the chocolate bar, with evidence of its positive effect on our mood. But rather than reaching for high sugar version, enjoy a comforting hot chocolate with dark organic cocoa, and soothing almond milk.
- Bananas – It is suggested that Magnesium found in bananas, may improve sleep and reduce anxiety, two symptoms of seasonal depression. (Think Banana, Cacao and Berry smoothie guys!)
- Spicy Pumpkin Soup – Both pumpkins and spices such as cloves are jam packed with Omega 3, another mood booster and belly warmer!
For anyone who has practised yoga, suffered from panic attacks or has asthma, you will know the power of simply breathing well. When we breathe fast and shallow we are not feeding our brain and vital organs the fresh clean air it needs to function properly. Even if you are feeling mega unmotivated and, like me, can’t even muster energy to leave your chair, take 10 minutes out a day to simply on your breath. If you can do it outside in the fresh air, even better!
Tip: need an extra boost? Try an aromatherapy blend specifically for lightening your mood. Blend to your liking oils such as Lavender, Ylang Ylang, Patchouli, Melissa, Sandalwood, Lemon Mytle and Chamomile, and mix with sweet almond oil for a relaxing temple rub.
Sing. Dance. Be Merry (even if you don’t feel like it)
How many of us have been so far into our funk that we choose to avoid potential happy inducing activities? Equally, have you ever been to a party you weren’t really in the mood to go to, only to leave feeling uplifted and energised afterwards? I am the queen of sofas, PJs and cat cuddles on a Friday night, but sometimes you need to get moving and have a giggle to kick the blues.
Don’t want to leave the house? Then don’t! Dress up, put on your fav tunes and dance around the kitchen. Before long you’ll be in fits of laughter; either from the bewildered face on your cat, or after you catch yourself in the mirror mid Guns n Roses guitar solo…
Share your sadness and successes
One of the worse things about feeling blue is the worry that’s you’re alone in your melancholy. When you are feeling sad, don’t be afraid to share with someone you love and trust. They may not be able to help – though words of wisdom and giggles over wine helps – but more importantly it keeps the dialogue flowing that it’s OK to feel sad.
Equally, when you are on top of the world, vocalise that too. Sometimes your happiness and good news might be just what your friend or loved one needs to hear to beat their winter blues!