Just looking at this picture I guess that’s why they call it the blues (so says Sir Elton John). In my opinion January & February 2020 have so far been apocalyptic. Heavy rain causing the worst flooding for decades; tragic and unnecessary deaths at home and abroad; universal politics and war-mongering; the list goes on. But are the blues really that black and white?
Is it the Blues … or just a grey day?
January and February are well known for ‘the Blues’. The glitter and hype of Christmas are long gone; the days are short; the weather is cold and at present exceptionally wet. I, personally, feel that this year the Blues have gone far deeper than normal. There’s the daily struggle to rationalise my own feelings. Every day is a battle to lift my motivation. For the first time since I made the momentous decision to change careers I have resented the impact my ‘job’ is having on me personally. So, is it the Blues…. or just a grey day?
Am I SAD?
I love a good self-diagnosis so of course I took my issues to my pal Google for a chat. I explored several mental health sites but actually ended up on the NHS website. Sure enough I found all my symptoms, neatly packaged as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD),or the Winter Blues and I quote: a persistent low mood; a loss of pleasure or interest in normal everyday activities; irritability (oh yes!); feelings of despair, guilt and worthlessness; feeling lethargic; finding it hard to get up in the mornings and craving carbohydrates (you have no idea!). So it seems I have the Winter Blues.
Why am I SAD?
So why am I sad? Well, whilst no one really understands SAD yet it appears that the lack of sunlight results in our bodies producing too much melatonin which makes us sleepier, and not enough serotonin so we are grumpy and hungry, and in addition, low serotonin levels are linked to depression. We also, of course, use the sunlight to determine what time to wake up and go to sleep (our circadian rhythms) – so darker,shorter days mean we want to hibernate. Seems like a good plan to me!
Beating the Blues
There are things we can do to help us cope but firstly let me say – if you are reading this and really feel that you are struggling to cope PLEASE, PLEASE talk to someone – your GP, your best friend or even me. I am not medically trained or an expert on mental health and I can only say what I see but I can listen.
For many of us our coping strategy can be more about lifestyle changes. At De Ville’s Studio (www.devillespilates.com) I encourage you to focus on your personal exercise regime, eating a healthy diet, getting good quality sleep and managing stress levels with mindful activities such as relaxation and meditation and Tai Chi.
A Dark Tunnel….a Tiny Light
So, today I am standing at the wrong end of a dark tunnel, but actually I can see a tiny light on the horizon. The sun may not be out yet but the days are slowly getting longer and one day the sun will return and my winter blues will be a distant memory ….. until next year.
If you need help dealing with Seasonal Affective Disorder visit nhs.uk/conditions and search for seasonal affective disorder.
If you would like to know more about relaxation and meditation, Tai Chi or other exercise programmes available at De Ville’s Pilates please contact us via the website at www.devillespilates.com, on Facebook @devillesstudio or go to our booking site https://goteamup.com/p/2087406-de-villes-studio/