Blog Image

How the changing seasons can affect us

Have you noticed that you are drawing the curtain earlier or switching lights on while it is still the afternoon?

The colour of the leaves on the trees are changing from vibrant greens to shades of red and brown. This means just one thing… autumn is here.

The mild weather these last few weeks has concealed the fact that autumn is here, but on Sunday the clocks go back an hour, and curtains will be closed even earlier and lights switched on sooner.

For me, this time of year means seeking comfort. Evenings spent curled up under a blanket with a cup of tea or maybe a hot chocolate. I am finding myself drawn to the kitchen, wanting to cook hearty pies, stews, and roast vegetables. As you might be able to tell, autumn is my favorite season, but this is not the case for everyone.

Many people dislike this time of year and experience the “winter blues.” Feeling sad from shorter days and finding themselves climbing into bed earlier and resenting waking up on dark mornings. This is different from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a term used to describe a type of depression that follows a seasonal pattern. The NHS estimates around 2 million people in the UK are affected by SAD. While the condition is most common as the seasons change to autumn and winter, people can be affected at any time of the year.

Signs and symptoms of SAD include those associated with major depression, and some specific symptoms that differ for winter-pattern and summer-pattern SAD. Not every person with SAD will experience all the symptoms listed below.

  • Feeling depressed most of the day, nearly every day.
  • Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed.
  • Experiencing changes in appetite or weight.
  • Having problems with sleep.
  • Feeling sluggish or agitated.
  • Having low energy.
  • Feeling hopeless or worthless.
  • Having difficulty concentrating.

In addition, for winter-pattern SAD, additional specific symptoms may include:

  • Oversleeping (hypersomnia)
  • Overeating, particularly with a craving for carbohydrates
  • Weight gain
  • Social withdrawal (feeling like hibernating)

Self-care for Seasonal Affective Disorder


One of the most notable changes associated with winter is the amount of sunlight we are exposed to. A part of our brains, called the hypothalamus can be affected by the lack of sunlight which disrupts its ability to produce two key hormones. Melatonin which makes you sleepy and serotonin which impacts your mood, appetite and sleep.

Therefore, getting more sunlight is incredibly important. Exposing ourselves to more daylight can have huge benefits. There are many ways you can do this, reposition your desk near a window, try going for a walk during daylight hours or even buying a lightbox. ‘Light Therapy’ lamps emit bright, sunlight-like light that can boost your mood by triggering the production of melatonin and serotonin. Prices can vary greatly, so it is worth doing your own research before investing in one.

Maintain your body clock

A lack of sunlight can also affect our sleep patterns as melatonin is the hormone that makes us sleepy. The changing of the clocks doesn’t help us to stick to a routine meaning that our circadian rhythms (internal body clock) can take time to adjust, particularly if we are used to the sun streaming through our curtains in the morning. Keeping to our own routines and rhythms is helpful to maintain waking up naturally, and investing in a light that simulates sunrise can ease getting out of bed and starting the day as we would during the summer months.

Food and exercise

With all the festive treats on the supermarket shelves at this time of year, it is easily tempting to reach for these rather than a nutrient-packed salad. However, we are all aware of how important it is to get the right nutrients and vitamins. Vitamin D and Vitamin C supplements are often recommended at this time of the year, although it is worth checking with your GP if your body lacks Vitamin D. It is important to take only the recommended dosage as taking too much can cause side effects.

Exercise can aid the production of endorphins, also known as the happy hormone. As well as helping to produce this important hormone, exercise can also hugely benefit our self-esteem as we feel accomplished having completed an exercise class, run, or even a walk.

Avoiding stress

This can be easier said than done, and it is important to remember that some stress is normal, but being too stressed can affect us greatly. Stress can affect our ability to digest food, face challenges, overcome injury and illness, or even just our ability to think and act reasonably. Thankfully, the seasonal tips above can help us manage our stress levels.


This time of year can lead us to spend more time indoors, which can make us more aware of our troubles. A lack of energy can make us feel less able to cope, and lower social interaction can induce feelings of loneliness. The flip side is that this could be the perfect time to begin the journey of self-discovery, working to resolve and improve issues that impact our lives in a negative way and that can feel worst at this time of year.

Hypnosis doesn't directly address the physical elements caused by the lack of sunlight, but it can play a valuable role in improving our emotional well-being, which can, in turn, improve our physical symptoms thanks to the anti-inflammatory effects of becoming calmer and more relaxed.

How hypnotherapy can help

Motivate and goals

Hypnotherapy is a great motivator and can help increase your determination and positive energy by looking for solutions and setting small manageable goals.

Tackle stress triggers and challenges

Reducing your stress levels might feel impossible, but hypnotherapy is a great way of tackling issues and triggers in a way that doesn’t cause more stress. Hypnotherapy can help you face challenges head on. You might want help with something in your past that keeps reoccurring, or you might want help to create new patterns of behavior. Whatever you are facing, hypnotherapy is an incredibly effective way of getting to the root cause and dealing with it in a peaceful way.


Set aside time for yourself and enjoy some essential relaxation. Hypnotherapy works best if you are in a peaceful, calm state. Talking about solutions to your issues and the small manageable steps you can take to achieve your goals will help you to feel more resilient and put you in a positive mindset ready for the guided hypnosis that will leave you feeling blissfully relaxed.

To find out more about banishing those winter blues, get in contact now.

Blog Image
Make the world work for you

There are many ways to bring Mindfulness to your
everyday life and it is easy to fit into a busy schedule.

Get started now