Winter Blues & SAD Syndrome (Seasonal Affective Disorder)

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SAD syndrome is the clinical version of the winter blues. Many of us experience a mood shift as winter kicks in, days become shorter and summer seems a distant memory. The winter blues are very common, the chances are that you’ve woken up on a cold, grey morning and not wanted to leave the comfort of your warm bed.

It is important that we work hard on our mental health during these wintery months. You may find yourself feeling inexplicably anxious, sad or grumpy and, as a result, eating more and craving carbohydrates. The feeling that you’re gaining weight can then further add to your unhappy mood.

How can reflexology help?

A lack of sunlight can affect the rhythm of our body’s biological clock which governs certain brain wave activity and hormone production, reflexology can help rebalance our hormones via our endocrine system.

The part of our brain which controls our appetite is the Hypothalamus gland. In reflexology, this is located on the side of the big toe and it can be stimulated to help control cravings and regulate our appetite and hunger levels.

The pineal gland, which regulates our sleep and wake cycles, can also be stimulated during a reflexology treatment. With the nights drawing in sooner and many people leaving for work while it’s still dark, we can wake up feeling like we still need a couple of hours more sleep.

Reflexology encourages the body to release endorphins, the body’s natural feel good hormones. This in turn reduces stress and tension throughout the body, releases toxins and improves circulation.

What else can you do to alleviate the symptoms of the winter blues?

  • Get some regular exercise to boost your energy and relieve feelings of depression
  • Set yourself some boundaries to prioritise self care. Make it a rule not to check emails, phone messages or answer your phone after 7pm, work no longer than 8/9 hours a day and ensure you take a break from work completely on your days off. These simple additions to your routine can help to bring more balance and calmness into your life.

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