Winter Wonderland vs Winter Blah...

What is your weather preference? Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter?

We all have a season influenced by our lifestyle variations and habitual behaviour.

Winter for me: the warmth of a fire, aroma of soup cooking, a good book, and of course a calm yet sometimes stormy beach, a wetsuit. My list can go on... Then there is the early morning weekend alarm clock set for sports with kids, be it rain, hail or sunshine, a reminder to stretch the body more as the joints tend to require a little more TLC in winter! Even our four-legged friend that resides with us, next to the fire in winter, has seasonal changes from a summer to a winter coat. Especially after vacuuming she manages to shed just a tad more!

Somedays the thought of a tropical island in the Caribbean, sunshine, and salt air puts a smile on the dial. Because seasonal emotions, some call it the winter blues, feeling more lethargic and low in mood is very real for many of us! With winter days being shorter means having a reduced amount of sunshine that both our mind and body require so we naturally produce less serotonin and more melatonin. This means the neurotransmitter associated with happiness is decreased, while the chemical associated with sleepiness, melatonin, is increased.

While writing this, the News reported Wellington having only had six hours of sunshine (Week ending Sunday 21st June). Would that feel like the Winter Blues for you?

Serotonin is often called the body's "Natural feel good chemical" & plays a key role in maintaining our mood balance. With winter and a lack of natural light and colder weather it really is tempting to hibernate, snuggle under that cozy blanket, cancel plans and see what's new on Netflix. There is nothing at all wrong with that scenario, we all need some well-deserved rest, recreation, and winter can allow us time to do just that. Yet sometimes we need a 'pick-me up' so to speak, to peel back that snuggly blanket and move that body.

I have to admire the kite surfers, windsurfers on a windy stormy winter's day out on the sea, making the most of the weather elements.

As simple as opening the blinds help, as lack of light contributes to low mood. If there is morning sunshine, taking a walk outside can definitely lift your mood. Shifting the body with some exercise has been shown to be a huge mood enhancer helping also to reduce stress. Do make time for your friends as that alone gives you a sense of belonging and improves your wellbeing, if you can't see them then phone them, or send them a message.

Remembering simple carbohydrates and sugars can spike our blood sugar levels in the brain which gives us an instant feeling of happiness when we are feeling bored, tired, cold and sad but will also then drop them just as fast causing a change in mood. Becoming aware of how we self-medicate with food over this time and remembering all in moderation may help take the edge off the spike in moods.

Just like how food can have an effect on our moods, tiredness also has a big impact on how we function, so lastly but not by all means least, getting enough sleep can certainly help lift our spirits!

To share your feedback, please contact me here: What is your personal weather preference? Your reason for this preference…