November 9, 2020
Times of Change

As the picturesque, seasonal yellow tones and rustic orange hues spectacularly sweep across our landscape, it’s clear that autumn is officially in full swing. There’s no doubt that the transition from summer to winter months presents a beautiful spectacle of transformation, which is so poignantly reflected in the nature which surrounds us; eloquently and effortlessly encapsulating the inevitability of change and evolution.

As the weather becomes evermore quintessentially British in its unpredictability, aside from digging out our cosy knitwear and contemplating which new pair of obligatory fluffy pyjamas and slippers combo will see us through the impending cosy nights indoors, we’ve been considering what steps we can take, to proactively optimise our mental and physical health, as the nights continue to draw in. We’ve also been working on curating new material to help support our community during these times of change (more on this later!)

While offering the perfect excuse to curl up by the fire and hibernate with our favourite book, it’ll come as no surprise that the reduction in daylight hours can make winter a more challenging time of year for some of us, especially during a heightened time of uncertainty that’s currently being experienced collectively, as a result of the pandemic.

While feeling down in the darker months of the year is quite common, for many of us a lack of day light can become a catalyst for depleted energy levels and a low mood, or even extreme mood fluctuations, which are some of the symptoms associated with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Often referred to as ‘winter depression’, triggers can include a disrupted body clock, high melatonin levels (which can cause fatigue), and extreme weather. However, there are measures we can take to combat the often-difficult symptoms linked to a low mood during the winter months, and here are some suggestions which really help us:

· Make the most of natural light. Going for a walk, or even just going outside for short intervals during the day can really help clear any residual mental fog.

· Bring more light into your home. A light, airy space really can make all of the difference to your mood.

· Take care of your diet. A healthy body contributes towards a healthy mind. Avoid high sugar foods which can accelerate energy and mood fluctuations.

· Yoga and Meditation. Of course, this is up there on our list, however we’re always mindful to adapt our practice depending on how we’re feeling. Some days it might be a gentle stretch, or a restorative Yin session, or other days, we just want to get stuck into a full on, energetic Ashtanga practice!

· Schedule in regular catch ups with loved ones. The pandemic has made human interaction a little more tricky than usual, however Zoom has become our best friend, and it’s a great way to catch up with friends and relatives over a virtual cuppa.

Now more than ever, it’s important to us that you feel supported in our community at Heather Yoga, during this significant time of transition, therefore we’ve created a bespoke ‘Stress and Anxiety Support System’ course, designed by senior teacher Heather Gregg. This 3-week program, which starts on Saturday 7th November is specifically tailored to help alleviate the often-overwhelming feelings and emotions that can arise during times of uncertainty and provide you with a holistic toolkit of tips and techniques to navigate your way through periods of stress and anxiety. Click here for more information and to book your spot.

Of course, there are limits to self-help, and if any symptoms you do experience start to significantly disrupt your life, please seek professional help.