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Does Winter have to look so blue?

A beach, a good book on my Kindle and the warm Summer sun is all that I am craving right now. As I sit down to write this editorial, the temperature has dropped to around 11 degrees outside and for the last two afternoons we have been surprised with some mild rain showers. Are you kidding? Cold is bad enough, but adding rain into the equation takes my depression levels to a new low. I was shocked to find that there is in fact a name for this, Seasonal Affective Disorder, aptly abbreviated to SAD. The symptoms include depression, sleeping problems, lethargy, overeating, irritability and antisocial behaviour.

So how can we cope with beating the Winter Blues?

The following is a short list of suggestions. While some of these ideas may work for me, they may not work for you, but hopefully at least one suggestion will warm you up…

  • Be Active – Dr Craig Williams a sports science lecturer at the University of Exeter is a firm believer in the benefits of walking and he says: ‘It can improve muscle endurance as well as muscle strength, especially in the lower body. It is good for bones and improves the body’s cardiovascular system. It also helps boost circulation.”
  • Go Outside – and spend some time in the sun, especially around midday, if you can’t get outside, sit near a window that lets light into the room.
  • Keep Warm – it reduces the Winter Blues by at least half. Spoil yourself with hot drinks (I love Hot Chocolate, Cappuccinos and Gluhwein) and hot food (My favs are Goulash and Butter Chicken Curry), wear warm clothes, especially shoes that keep your feet warm.
  • Eat Healthy Food – it is said to improve your mood, provide you with more energy and reduce unnecessary weight gain. Try to compensate for the tempting carbohydrates, like potatoes and pasta, by eating fresh fruit and vegetables.
  • Keep an Active Mind – by starting a new hobby and therefore creating something to look forward to and focus on.
  • Socialise – by staying in touch with your family and friends; host dinner parties or accept invitations. It is said to be good for mental health.

The great news is that we are already halfway through Winter. Hang in there!
Sending the warmest of wishes your way,
Lara-Ann Koch
Deputy Principal – High School