Self- help tips for Winter low mood

Winter is well and truly descending upon us, trees are shedding their leaves, and my Dad came round today and commented how my big tree in the garden had suddenly shed, and I had noticed that too today when I was having my coffee in the garden, catching a bit of sun for vitamin D in a big warm dressing gown this morning.

It is mentioned in a previous blog about Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), vitamin D and Winter months. For many, mood can drop in these months (there are some, but less, people who experience a drop in the Spring for various reasons). There is less daylight, and sunlight is documented to have a positive effect on mood. Sunlight also helps us absorb vitamin D into our skin, and low vitamin D can lower and/or add to low mood. If you notice that you are affected by the reduced daylight and the Winter months, here are a few self – help tips to help you along the way:

Aim to catch some daylight. This may not be easy for those who go to work or school in the dark, and then come home as it is getting dark. Could you wrap up warm and take your morning coffee or tea etc in the garden if you have one? The birds are pretty active in the morning, and it can be relaxing and pleasant to watch and listen to them. Or maybe take a brisk walk on your lunch hour, as well as the daylight, the exercise will help you. Exercise can contribute to elevating mood.

Eat healthily and well. I have a lot of clients who struggle with eating disorders, and this is where depression/low mood/SAD gets complicated. Poor nutrition, too much sugar and/or too little calories can have a negative affect on mood. If you struggle with a eating disorder, you may need to work with a professional alongside your own self – help. There is a previous post on nutrition for those wanting to eat healthily and well. Think of good food as medicine.

Take a vitamin D supplement. This extra boost of vitamin D will help now that there is less sunlight.

Consider investing in a light box to help get more light. Light boxes have worked well for some. Of course, they are not a cure-all, but for some can be part of helping low mood. They vary in price, but even the cheaper ones can be effective for some. If friends or relatives ask what you want for Christmas (if you celebrate Christmas), maybe you could ask for a contribution towards a light box.

Exercise. Make sure you are eating well to fuel the exercise. Don’t overdo the exercise, as that can be as unhelpful for you as not exercising. Find a version of exercise you enjoy and can incorporate into your week. Half an hour 3-5 times a week would help you. This can be split into 15 minute blocks for example. If you take the bus to work, could you walk to a bus stop a couple of stops down? Wrap up warm using layers so that it isn’t unpleasant.

These things are just a starting point and a few tips to take positive steps for yourself and your well-being, and are practices that may benefit you all year round!

2 thoughts on “Self- help tips for Winter low mood”

  1. Leighah if you copy and paste this into a blank A4 I can add as a block and put within our leaflets and resources. Give it the same heading and put you name to it I can post of website too.


    Marg Oaten MBE Secretary and Co-founder SEED Eating Disorder Support Services Resource Room Wilberforce HC 6-10 Story Street, Hull HU1 3SA Tel (01482) 344084 Help Line (01482) 718130 Res Room 9.30am to 2.30pm daily


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