Keep­ing your spir­its up dur­ing the colder months

Central Otago Mirror - - FRONT PAGE -

With the weather turn­ing colder and the days shorter, our thoughts turn to things to warm both the inside and the out­side – body and spirit, if you will. A long stretch of dreary days can test the most up­beat tem­per­a­ment, but there are ways to stave off the win­ter blues and keep tick­ing over un­til spring.

First and fore­most, take care of your health over the cold months. Noth­ing drags down even the most in­domitable spirit faster than a cold or flu bug that won’t abate.

Call your doc­tor for a chat about an an­nual flu jab, and see what you can do to boost your im­mune sys­tem, and keep on truck­ing through the worst and bleak­est win­ter days.

Have a chat with your chemist as well, and find out what sup­ple­ments you can take dur­ing win­ter – there’s lots of nat­u­ral good­ies out there that will help your im­mu­nity and tweak your moods.

Sea­sonal af­fec­tive dis­or­der is, ac­cord­ing to the Mayo Clinic, a type of de­pres­sion re­lated to the change in sea­sons. It’s more com­mon dur­ing win­ter, as there is less ac­cess to sun­light, but on rare oc­ca­sions can oc­cur dur­ing spring or sum­mer.

There are a few things you can do if it feels like you have more than a touch of the win­ter blues. Talk to your health pro­fes­sional first, and go from there.

Light ther­apy is one pos­si­bil­ity – a spe­cial light box that mim­ics nat­u­ral out­door light, and can pos­si­bly al­le­vi­ate symp­toms of SAD. Med­i­ca­tion is an­other pos­si­bil­ity but again, talk to your doc­tor first.

There’s a lot to en­joy in the colder months – cosy fires on cold, wet nights; warm blan­kets, scarves and gloves – but when the weather re­ally set­tles in to an ex­tended pe­riod of bleak­ness, it can be hard to re­mem­ber that spring will even­tu­ally come. If you’re just feel­ing a lit­tle bit down, ex­er­cise some self-care; make your favourite hot drink, queue up your favourite sum­mer-themed movie or TV show – or dig up a favourite book set in hot cli­mates – curl up with a big fluffy blan­ket, and let your­self dream.

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