Why do I feel so Tired in the Winter? And what can I do about it?
Updated: Dec 31, 2019
School plays; concerts; work dos; deadlines; shopping; organising; prepping; cooking; hosting; extended family; celebrations; late nights; drinking; overeating... no wonder by the end of December we’re feeling pretty exhausted - looking for a bit of quiet time!
This time of year brings clients complaining of headaches, migraines and troubles sleeping. Reiki is an excellent method to alleviate these symptoms, but the causes are often circumstantial: stress; exhaustion; worry; heartache; overworking...
It’s not the pressures of Christmas alone though that tires us out. The shorter days and longer nights means more melatonin; making our brains believe we need more rest. If we had equal measures of sunshine year round, this simply would not be the case.
Some people find the lack of light more difficult than others and may suffer from SAD (seasonal affective disorder) which often leads to lethargy, depression, irritability, irregular sleeping patterns and lack of concentration. We often dismiss these signs as ‘the winter blues’ but if these symptoms tend to arrive and disappear about the same times each year, it may be worth looking into getting an SAD light box to help lift your mood. Have a look at some of these products:
Springtime too, can play havoc with our energy levels and mood due to the sudden changes in daylight levels. Our bodies are struggling to adjust; our circadian rhythms all over the place. This is also, of course, the time we decide to push ourselves to get fit, diet, take up new hobbies etc, and often we burn ourselves out with springtime overload!
How can I beat the winter blues?
1. Keep a seasonal record of your overall mood and energy. Are there any patterns? Could you be suffering from SAD? Take a look at the NHS link: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder-sad/
2. Exercise. Moderate and achievable exercise regimes throughout the year will help keep you balanced and able to adapt to the changing seasons. Intense New Year resolutions to get up super early to get to the gym every single day often fail quite quickly. Be kind to yourself and adapt gently.
3. Healthy eating. Try to eat moderately and seasonally to help your body stay in tune with natural rhythms. It’s always tempting to consume lots of heavy, fatty foods in the winter, but this in turn makes us feel even more tired.
4. Get outside. Okay - so it’s wet and cold out there, and pretty gloomy looking but some natural light is better than none so get your boots on and soak up as much as you can. Artificial lighting doesn’t contain the full spectrum of light needed to fight off sickness, depression and tiredness. Making the most of natural daylight helps keep your circadian rhythm ticking along.
5. Keep it natural. Remember, your body is amazing at telling you what you need and when to slow down. Listen to yourself and don’t feel pressured to wear yourself out over the winter period. If you’re feeling under the weather, holistic remedies are often the way forward.