Cold, dark and feeling down
Waking up in the dark and getting home in the dark can have major effects on our mood but also our overall health. Recently, I’d been feeling a little low, run down and not my usual bouncy self. While we can all have need for a quieter day, I noticed that the sluggish feeling was hanging around longer and my usual cheerfulness was missing.
I had a kinesiology session which showed I was struggling with a virus but also low serotonin levels. This surprised me as I had recently returned from a holiday to Thailand with plenty of sunshine, however on our return the change to darker, colder days was extremely noticeable. To be fair I also had a minor operation under a general anaesthetic which had also affected my body and mind. I was very grateful to have a good balancing session with kinesiology and felt much better over the next few days. I also gave into resting a little more as I felt I needed to help my body reset and recharge.
A good kinesiologist will check you not only for Vitamin D in these winter months but also folate and B12 as well as other minerals to ensure your body has the best balance. I am a firm believer that we need to give ourselves a helping hand with nutritional supplements, with different vitamins and minerals needed at different times of the year depending on our circumstance. We often just need a boost for a few months of a particular one which is sufficient to top up your natural levels. I am currently taking FolaPro by NutriAdvanced (£15.95 for 60 tablets, 1 a day) and Vitamin D3 from Neal’s Yard Remedies (£12.50 for 60 tablets, take 1 a day).
Shorter days, darker mornings and a lack of sunlight can directly impact our body’s endocrine glands and result in feeling tired, lacklustre and experiencing a low mood. The endocrine glands are the master glands of your body controlling your hypothalamus, pituitary, pineal & adrenal glands to name a few, essentially, they are in charge of sending messages to the brain and controlling our hormone levels and body functions. Serotonin and melatonin are the ones you will hear of frequently. Serotonin levels affect our mood, sleep and memory as well as impacting on our behaviour, while melatonin relates to the pineal gland the body’s natural circadium rhythm (natural body clock) which helps us distinguish light and dark, day and night and helps us want to sleep at night.
When these are out of balance through stress, mental tension, travelling or anything to upset our natural body clock, we can struggle to fall asleep or indeed to stay awake. I have always been a believer of a bedtime routine, factoring in 30-60 mins per night for me to unwind and switch off. Admittedly this is easier than for some as I don’t have children, however even 5 mins to yourself to put the iphone, switch off the tv and just have a few quiet moments before getting into bed will help. After all, we do this for children every night so why not ourselves? Our poor bodies are just not used to having an abrupt ‘sleep now’ message given to them, and like all good machinery need time to close the files, switch off and recharge. You can find out more about this during my Sleep and Relaxation workshops.
Alongside this advice, one extra area of support I would not be without during Autumn and Winter is my Lumie Bodyclock. It’s a gorgeous SAD light therapy, aromatherapy diffuser, natural alarm clock. Although I must admit I rarely use the alarm as I set the ‘sunrise’ and uplifting aroma for 30 minutes to naturally wake me up before the need for an alarm. The Lumie is designed to support your natural body clock, allow you to gently wake up through the REM, deep and light sleep cycles, and help you slowly switch off at night. The sunrise and sunset light settings plus two aromatherapy diffuser chambers allow you to control your wake up and relaxation cycles. The Lumie has two separate chambers to make it easy to automatically switch from morning to evening essential oil blends. If you order this through me, I can give you £25 worth of free essential oils to help you unwind, relax and awaken refreshed.
Check out the advice from MIND, the mental health charity on how to manage Seasonal Affective Disorder:
- Have a kinesiology session to check for any underlying health imbalance, vitamin and mineral deficiencies
- Don’t try to do too much, go through your diary and cross out any non-essential times that you can just rest in
- Create a bedtime routine to switch off. Unplug the technology, take some deep breaths, do a couple of stretches and settle your mind. Write down any ‘to do’ list items, read a fluffy book to switch off or have a warm bath.
- Consider getting yourself a Lumie Bodyclock. Yes it can seem like an expense, but to be honest I would gladly pay 5 times the price to get my happiness and energy back. It really does work wonders.
I hope these help. Do let me know what else has helped you in these Autumnal months and get in touch if you’d like a kinesiology session to help find out exactly what you need.