How to beat the winter blues

This time of year can be challenging for a lot of us. The darker nights, colder winds and frozen mornings can all make for a more dismal outlook. Summer is well and truly over and while the autumn colours were glorious, to begin with, they too soon fade and become dark and dank. For some, the promise of Christmas brings a little cheer and merriment but for others, this can seem just too far away or even cause stress just thinking about it- so many presents to carefully consider, purchase and wrap! The desire to hibernate away, feast on stodgy foods and bury your head back in the duvet, can become all too overpowering sometimes.

While I may be painting a heavy picture, some of this may resonate with you. Equally, it all may be speaking loud and clear to you and how you’re currently feeling. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a recognised medical condition and if you are feeling an overwhelming sense of despair and lethargy, then we do recommend you seek medical support from your GP. On a smaller scale, it may be that aspects of SAD are seeping into your life, resulting in low motivation, mood and mindset.

The rational part of our brain knows that this darkness and decay is a necessary part of life and without it, nature would not be sustainable. Some aspects of winter can be particularly beautiful but there are hormonal, nutritional and emotional considerations that can impact our outlook during this period and it is worth considering how to ensure we transition through this season as resilient as we can be. 

Below are some key ways that you can help tackle the effects of the changing seasons and start to regain a more positive determination but as we said before if you are feeling particularly low, please do seek medical advice from your doctor. 

These suggestions are varied – some quick, simple solutions and others will take a little effort and investment. Hypnotherapy is, of course, listed, as we here at Hypnotherapy Directory can never express strongly enough how impactful and varied a source of treatment it is. 


One of the key changes with the onset of winter is the amount of sunlight you’re exposed to. It is thought that the part of the brain known as the hypothalamus is affected by the lack of sunlight and this disrupts its ability to produce two key hormones in amounts that the body actually needs: melatonin which makes you sleepy and serotonin which impacts your mood, appetite and sleep.

The sleepy sensation can leave us feeling lethargic and unproductive while the melatonin can result in us becoming down in the dumps and hungry: a recipe for weight gain, depression and the desire to keep ourselves to ourselves. 

Getting more sunlight is therefore incredibly significant. Literally exposing ourselves to more daylight can have huge benefits, so reposition your desk near a window, try going for walk during daylight hours and even consider buying a lightbox. These ‘Light therapy’ gadgets create artificial sunlight to try and give you the nutrients and hormones that you otherwise miss from not being in the sun. These can vary in price substantially and it is always worth doing your own research before investing in one. Especially when being outdoors in the natural sunlight has other added benefits as well.

Maintain your body clock

As previously mentioned, the darker hours can impact our melatonin levels which can result in broken sleep. This isn’t helped by the changing of the clocks and it can be easy for routines to become disrupted. Our circadian rhythms are like internal body clocks and it can take some 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 in order to maintain waking up naturally. To aid this, use a light that comes on automatically to simulate a sunrise. Waking to a brighter room can ease getting out of bed and starting the day as we would during the summer months. 

Food and exercise

With delicious temptations stocking the shelves in the lead up to Christmas, it’s easy to overlook a nutrient-packed salad and opt for the baked camembert instead! However, we are all too aware of how important it is to get the right nutrients and vitamins. Exercise can support the production of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good hormones. Not only does exercise produce these brilliant hormones but it can hugely benefit our self-esteem as we feel accomplished and maintain a healthy body.

Avoid stress

While this may be easier said than done, stress can impact us in a huge range of ways. Our ability to digest food, face challenges, overcome injuries or even think straight can all be affected by our stress levels. Thankfully there are some simple steps we can take to manage stress and they are listed above as they directly link with overcoming the changes of the seasons. Exercise, sleep, routines, food and sunlight all impact our ability to manage our stresses and help build a greater resilience so we are able to take on challenges when they are thrown our way.

How can hypnotherapy help?


Gain that energy to go for those lunchtime walks, get up in the mornings and tackle those tasks you keep putting off. Hypnotherapy is a great motivator and can help you gain a greater conviction, determination and positive energy.

Tackle stress triggers and challenges

Reducing stress can seem like a tall order but hypnotherapy could be the ideal way of tackling that issue or trigger in a way that doesn’t cause more stress! If you want to face your challenges head-on, hypnotherapy can assist in a myriad of ways. It may be something from the past that keeps reoccurring or it may be a new pattern of behaviour that you want to address. Whatever you’re facing, hypnotherapy is incredibly effective at getting to the root cause of an issue and dealing with it in a peaceful but effective way.

Achieve goals

If you want help in maintaining a healthy diet or breaking a bad habit, then hypnotherapy is for you. It may be that you wish to address poor libido, improve your poor sleep routines or go to the gym more. If you’re looking to make positive, long term, healthy changes, hypnotherapy can definitely help. 

Time to talk

The NHS recommends talking therapies for those suffering from SAD and many hypnotherapists are also trained counsellors. It is worth checking if your therapist is qualified in any other therapeutic areas as they may be able to offer a blended service. Having a space where you can air your concerns and thoughts without judgement can be hugely liberating. Processing your feelings or concerns is sometimes just the answer. 


Put aside time for yourself and enjoy some essential relaxation. Hypnotherapy only works if you are in a peaceful, calm state so your therapist will do everything they can to help get you in that blissful state.

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Written by Jessica Chapman
Jessica Chapman is a therapist and teacher with a passion for the outdoors and being creative. She enjoys assisting others in making positive changes to their lives alongside working on her own aspirations.
Written by Jessica Chapman
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