Sunday, 19th November 2017
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With Breda Gardner Homeopath, lcph, mcos, rgn

Health Therapies Clinic

13 Gladstone Street, Waterford.

Tel: 087 2025753.

Insight Natural Health Clinic

15 Upper Patrick St, Kilkenny

Tel: 056 7724429

Let there be light

Are you affected positively or negatively by the clocks going back? Overnight, we lose an hour of light in our evenings, and I remain convinced that we only benefit by 30 minutes extra light in the morning! That said, I was finding it difficult to get up in the mornings with the darkness, so whilst personally I don’t like to see the clocks go back, I do like enjoy the mornings being brighter.

But it does take time to adjust to the darker evenings. I love the sights, sounds and smells of Autumn - the beautiful colours, the crisp mornings, the clear skies - but there is no doubt I will be happier when we reach 21st December and the evenings finally start to draw out again.

A recently published study from Denmark indicates that putting the clocks back has a marked impact on people’s state of mind. The research showed a significant increase in the number of cases of depression in local hospitals. This makes sense to me: the sudden, abrupt onset of longer, darker nights is a reminder of the winter gloom, which itself can lead to more negative thoughts.

The medical profession has a name for this: seasonal affective disorder (SAD). SAD can apply to any time of the year - hay fever in the summer, for example - but it is most common in the winter. The arrival of Autumn, coupled with the switch to daylight saving time, is a double whammy. I often see clients in my clinic suffering from the winter blues, and I advise a number of simple tips to get them back into balance:

- Embrace the seasons:

Autumn is a time for reflection, for drawing in the horns, for cosying up to open fires, enjoying hearty, hot soups and taking crisp autumnal walks

- Think positively:

There is undoubtedly a psychological effect caused by the clocks changing, but try to look on the bright side (no pun intended). If you catch yourself thinking negative thoughts, stop yourself and consign them to the bin where they belong! Say to yourself "Stop! Delete! I now choose to enjoy my day."

- Speak about and share your feelings with a loved one or a professional:

Often this simple process of unburdening has an incredibly positive outcome

- Organise your day to make sure you make the most of the light:

This might means getting up earlier, or making sure you step out of your office at lunchtime. As little as 5 minutes light into the eyes can help to alleviate SAD, even on a cloudy day

- Buy one of the special daylight lamps:

I was initially sceptical, but a friend gave me a gift of one recently, and I have to say I am impressed by the way it makes me feel.

P.S. There is another element that we usually never think about but which has an amazing effect on our health and well-being - all will be revealed next week!

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