Banish those winter blues!


If you were listening to the show yesterday, you’ll have heard Fiona passing on some hints and tips for banishing the winter blues and keeping calm over Christmas. Here’s a reminder of some of the suggestions she shared…

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is estimated to affect up to 6 per cent of us, making life very difficult indeed for those who suffer from it.

If the lack of light affects your mood substantially,  using a lightbox for up to an hour a day can helpful – find out more about light therapy here or check out the NHS and Mind websites for more helpful advice.

Even if we don’t suffer from SAD, for many of us the ‘winter blues’ leave us feeling more lethargic, less keen to stick to exercise we usually enjoy and eating too much stodge. And this dip in energy coincides with Christmas preparations – what a double whammy!

One of the key things about staying calm up to Christmas is to realise that panicky feelings may be due to low light levels. Try out these simple suggestions to adjust your regime…

Use your energy well. Decide what your goals are for the day and crack on so they can be progressed by about 2.30pm, leaving the afternoon for more routine tasks.

Get out in the sun – even if it’s just for 10 minutes, the sun on your face will stimulate your pineal gland, which helps regulate melatonin levels.  The action of the sun helps to make you feel alert and interested, less like hibernating!

Don’t eat too much comfort food – have hearty soups but not too much bread. Make time to eat and really enjoy your meals – mindful eating means tasting every mouthful and stops you from eating more than you need. This is a useful habit to get into pre-Christmas when it can feel as if there is too much of everything!

And if you do over-indulge – not that you would do such a thing! – here’s just the thing from Fiona’s blue box of homeopathic remedies…

  • Pre-Christmas, Nux vom 30 is great if you’re jangled from having too many deadlines and irritated from drinking too much coffee in order to meet them! You are short tempered and snappy, and may feel pretty rubbish inside, as you are not digesting your hastily-eaten meals very well.
  • And after the Christmas parties and celebrations, Nux vom 30 helps to restore you if you’ve had too much of everything, whether food or drink. You know that hungover feeling when everything is too loud and too bright? Nux vom will help sort that out. And it doesn’t have to be alcohol – if you go to a lot of Christmas dos and you end up feeling sluggish and irritable from lots of party food, take Nux vom.
  • December’s a busy time for children too, with all the excitement about presents, school plays and performances combined with tiredness towards the end of the long school term – while for teenagers there are mock GCSEs and A levels. If your kids are a bit more sensitive now, Pulsatilla 30 is excellent for helping when nerves about a school event mean some extra tears or tummyaches.
  • And then there’s the family get together – we know that can bring its share of hassle too. There’s something about the certain combination of relatives that makes the sparks fly. It may start with a familiar gripe, a throw-away remark that opens old wounds or leads to a bigger row. For emotional upsets that can leave you feeling rattled afterwards, try Ignatia 30.
  • Unfortunately bad news doesn’t stop for Christmas. A sudden bereavement, relationship break-up or death of a family pet – these big events can and do happen at any time. Again Ignatia 30 is a remedy for dealing with the shock that bad news brings.

You’ll find these and other homeopathic remedies in health shops and high street pharmacies – to use them, take one pill every 15 minutes for three doses. You shouldn’tt need to repeat but if symptoms return use another batch of three.

For more information about using homeopathic remedies at home, Fiona runs regular workshops. The first date in 2017 is Friday 27 January – email for details and bookings.

Also on yesterday’s show, wellness coach Tina Mason joined the Girls Around Town to talk about the new science of mBIT and how to use your three brains instead of just one.

Listen to Fiona’s interview with Tina here and find out more about her practice on her website

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