Is it just me or does everyone seem a bit sad?
Updated: May 13, 2020
I started this year super positive. Determined to beat the January blues and excited to grow my business as well as plan some fun adventures with my boys. Everything seemed so balanced and calm. Well, for the first two weeks of Jan that was, and then...
A big project I was supposed to be working on all year got pulled for financial reasons after only three months. I then had quite a bad run-in with the teacher at my son's school. And, also my health took a slight turn for the worse. I went from feeling totally in-the-game to very much out on the bench. And, yes, I felt sad. So, I began to search around my circle for some good news and joy to try and ease some of the sadness. But, as I searched, all I found was more sadness. Each and every person I called or messaged for some love and support - people who where normally happy and uplifting - seemed so down and mediocre. And, many didn't even know why. It was disturbing to be honest and if anything sent my anxiety to a whole new level.
So, why is everyone feeling so blue at the moment?
After pondering the state of my circle, I've come to blame the collective sadness on three key factors - the weather, illness and the media.
I'm not sure about you, but I feel like it's pretty much rained ever since last September. We had the World Cycling Championships here in Harrogate last autumn, which was a complete wash-out and since then it just hasn't stopped. Maybe once, but that's it. Those gloomy clouds and the constant downpours have left us feeling soggy and zapped of life. The illnesses, I'm sure are then another annoying result of the weather. The the coughs, the snot, the lethargy, the headaches - all symptoms of damp conditions and lack of vitamin D. Those with kids have been hit the worst I think, with infections, viruses and allergies all rearing their ugly heads at varying intervals.
And then, just when we are all feeling completely drained of sunlight, run-down, tired and phlegmy - we switch on the TV, open a paper or get a news alert on our phone informing us of yet another piece of bad news. The coronavirus is spreading nearer home, a popular celebrity we know has tragically died and we have just broken up with the the rest of our European friends who we loved and didn't want to break up with. And, now, we really feel like we've hit rock bottom.
What can we do to cheer ourselves up?
This morning, for the first time in weeks, I opened the blinds in our bedroom to full blue sky. I could feel the serotonin rushing around my body. I've always known that I'm very much solar-powered, and my energy levels are totally in sync with the weather forecast. If you are a bit like me, then you will find comfort in the fact that spring is on the way. And, what can honestly beat a UK springtime? There is so much new life and beauty to see all over the country. So, at least the end of the winter blues is somewhere just in sight. I try and get outdoors as much as I can all year round, which I think it vital to feeling sane. As soon as there is a break in the wind and rain, cease the opportunity and take a walk outside on your lunch-break, take the kids on a weekend welly walk or plan a mini hike with some girlfriends, so you can catch up and get some fresh air simultaneously.
When it comes to health, both mentally and physically, I know that in winter I need to put a lot more effort in than I do in the spring and summer months. I start by upping my supplement intake (I take a strong dose of Magnesium, Vitamin D 4000iu, Vitamin B2 and an iron tablet). Nutrition-wise, when I am feeling a bit low or run-down, I find that my body naturally craves greens and other veggies. I don't feel like eating big meals or meat at all. I am lucky in this respect as I know some people crave sugar and beige food when they are feeling sad, which are the worst kinds of foods to crave at that time. I know you hear it a lot, but really try and stay clear of processed foods, salty snacks and sugar-filled treats - they will give you two minutes of pleasure - but will wreak havoc to your bodily systems and energy levels in the longer term!!
In the darker, colder months, I also really need to put the effort in to exercise at least four or five times a week. This normally comprises of a spinning session, a 5K run and two or three yoga sessions. Last week, when it was half term, my usual exercise routine was flung out the window, and this had a massive effect on my energy levels and mood. I really believe that a regular exercise plan that you love is key to a happy and healthy life, especially in the winter. Discovering running and yoga have transformed my body and my mind and are also great ways to meet lovely new people too.
It would be great to know how you change your lifestyle in the winter to combat the blues? Leave us a note in the comment and share your tips with us all!!!