Less than two weeks apart from a fresh and totally unknown New Year ahead , a whole range of emotions are invading our souls . Some have many reasons for which to be grateful to God for the year that passes slowly behind ( if it is either a professional achievement , or simply a minute personal one ) , for many more however , the end of the year seems to be a milestone which painfully reminds of the passing of another year into eternity .
In whatever time zone would you live , the cooler nights and darker mornings , along with the temperatures and light changes , certainly brings many more changes in schedules , routines , expectations and even relationships . Young or old , nobody is immune to it .
Though many people consider spring to be the time of new beginnings , the autumn and winter is that for many people , too . It is a time of reflection on the summer and the year thus far, as well as a time of preparation for the upcoming holidays and the new year ahead and the physical, emotional, and relational ways you may be affected by this transition are so important .
The impact of light and temperature on the human body is profound. We all need some level of light and warmth for our bodies to survive and thrive. Whatever your preference – if either for warmth or cooler air , for bright light or darkness – the change in season will certainly affect you at a point or another . Understanding the changes and learning how to respond to the needs will help you prepare for whatever this season is bringing .
Many people struggle with seasonal affective mood issues, commonly referred to as the seasonal affective disorder ( SAD) – a type of depression related to the change in seasons. For most of the people , this begins during fall and continues throughout the winter months. It’s usually marked by low energy , moodiness , difficulty in sleeping a lack of interest in activities and in relationships , feeling hopeless, and an overall sense of depression. Known more casually as “the winter blues,” the SAD can have a significant impact on your mood and relationships .
In order to help you prepare facing SAD with a positive attitude instead , ask yourself first the following questions:
- Do you find yourself sleeping more? Are you struggling to get out of bed?
- Do you feel less patient? Are you easily annoyed or irritated?
- Do you feel more energized and productive?
- Is it harder or easier to exercise now?
- Has there been a shift or change in any of your relationships in the recent weeks?
- Are you actively involved in your relationships?
Answering these questions could give you some insight about how the change in season may or may not be affecting you. Regardless of whether you are affected or not by the SAD, there are still few key points that will successfully help you navigate and manage any seasonal changes , whenever they come .
- Exercise, exercise, exercise ! Moving your body on a regular basis has far-reaching and very positive effects on your physical and emotional health. You don’t need to train for a marathon. Even walking around your neighborhood is a type of exercise which beside being relaxing , helps keeping the skeleto-muscular system in shape . Doing push-ups , or even running around while playing outside with the children , these all have as well the same benefit.
- More light , is definitely another very important way . Since many of the jobs now are done mostly indoors , spending more time outside under the sun often takes an effort . Everyone needs to be exposed to sunlight on a daily basis and the research in the past few years proved the tremendous importance of the Vitamin D for the general health and immunity . But the benefits are definitely far greater , physically and emotionally. The energy and emotional boost that we get after only a few minutes under the sun can be exceptional .
- Talk it out ! All transitions have their challenges, and it’s always easier when you’re talking to someone else about it. Whether you’re talking to a friend, coworker, or the therapist , it is feeling always a relief whenever letting someone into your inner thoughts and experiences .
- And , most of all , paying attention to Nutrition is probably the most important of all . Certain nutritional deficiencies , the excess of refined products , wheat products and sugar in special , as well as the processed foods are blacklisted for long time as the number one triggers for depression . Avoiding those and increasing instead the amount of fruits and vegetables , a good supply of super foods and vitamin B12 has no other effect but a prepared body to face smoothly the season ahead .
What works best for you as you enter a new season? What tips or techniques do you have to share with others ? Feel free to share your experiences with us . Let’s learn from each other !
THE BEST AND HAPPIEST HOLIDAYS ever , To All !