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Summer’s Gone

With the clocks changing and the days getting shorter, it’s clear that summer is long gone. In the UK we have had a warm, if wet, autumn but winter can’t be far away. The weather can affect your mood and in winter that can mean a lack of energy and poor mood. Indeed, that is why we have festivals in the winter to raise people spirits such as Diwali and Christmas.

Having spent my childhood in southern Africa I do struggle with winters in the UK. But I realise that there are worse places to spend the winter. As Morgan Freeman (American Actor) once said, “Some places you been before are so great that you don’t ever mind going back. Some places you been before you don’t ever want to go back, you know, like Montreal in the Winter”.

In a recent UK survey about winter 77% people reported lower energy levels and 71% reported a poorer mood. You may have experienced this yourself – the winter blues or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD is a type of seasonal depression like condition and the symptoms include

  • Persistent low mood
  • Loss of interest in normal activities
  • Irritability
  • Feelings of despair and worthlessness
  • Lacking energy and feeling sleepy
  • Sleeping for longer than normal and finding it hard to get up in the morning
  • Craving carbohydrates and gaining weight
  • Lowered immune system

The causes of SAD are not fully understood, but it’s thought to be caused by reduced exposure to sunlight. It is thought that the lack of sunlight stops the brain from producing the right amount of several key substances. These are:

  • Melatonin. A hormone that makes you feel sleepy. SAD sufferers produce more than normal levels.
  • Serotonin. A hormone that affects your mood, appetite and sleep. Reduced levels are linked to feelings of depression.
  • Vitamin D. This vital vitamin boosts the immune system and ensure healthy bones, teeth and muscles.

So, as Dwayne Johnson (American Actor and Wrestler) said, “I found that with depression, one of the most important things you could realise is that you’re not alone”. So if you struggle at this time of year, then Hypnotherapy can help. Contact me for more information.

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