Parents gave a communal cheer as children returned to schools around the country. The weather, too, turned a corner. With cooler temperatures and an earlier sunset, it’s clear that the days are already drawing in. Autumn is closing in on us it would seem. And with only four months of the year left, the prospect of shorter, darker days can often make it hard to feel motivated. Many of us suffer the effects of seasonal affective disorder, but it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom.
Focusing on the positives is a good start. Crisp night air, beautiful early morning frosts, the magic of Christmas, lazy evenings in front of a roaring fire, delicious winter stews, toasty slipper socks and snugging up in a cosy sweater. There’s so much that’s good about autumn and winter, so why do we dwell on the negatives?
What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?
According to the NHS website, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a form of depression that comes and goes with the seasons. Symptoms tend to be more apparent and extreme during the colder months, especially during autumn and winter.
The exact cause of SAD is still unknown, but scientists believe that lack of sunlight is the main cause. Knock-on effects include lower levels of the ‘happy’ hormone, Serotonin, and conversely higher levels of the ‘sleep hormone’ as well as a disrupted body clock.
Symptoms of SAD
Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder can massively affect people’s mental health and impact their day-to-day activities.
It can manifest in the following ways:
- Persistent low mood
- Finding it hard to get up in the morning
- Needing more sleep
- Craving carbohydrates and gaining weight
- Experiencing classic signs of depression like despair, guilt, and worthlessness
(Source: NHS Website)
If you’re struggling to cope with SAD, we’d always recommend that your first port of call is a GP for further advice, but there are some other things that you can also do to help manage SAD.
Aromatherapy for SAD
When an essential oil is inhaled, molecules travel from the olfactory nerves directly to the brain, impacting on our emotional state of mind and on some of the body’s physiological processes. It’s all to do with the strong link between our sense of smell and the Limbic System, the area of the brain where memory, habits and emotion are formed.
So, in short, essential oils affect your mood. Aromatherapy harnesses this in a positive way, by using scents that relax, calm, and uplift the mind. True, it blows your mind to think that a smell can make such a significant difference, but it can and does.
Aromatherapy Balms: Your Secret Superpower
Use a Scentered Aromatherapy Balm as your secret superpower to get you through autumn and winter this year. We love Scentered Escape Wellbeing Ritual Aromatherapy Balm, perfect for mentally transporting you away from the darkness of winter. It’s even better when coupled with some much deserved “me time”, whether that’s a yoga class, a good book or relaxing on the sofa.
This enticing blend contains Oud, often used in Eastern spiritual practices to enhance clarity of mind, Sandalwood which strengthens the mind, and Frankincense a grounding, balancing oil, especially useful for visualization. Apply to your wrists, neck, and temples, deeply inhale the gorgeous scent three times, and shut your eyes and escape to your happy place.
Another fantastic scent for this time of year is Scentered Happy Wellbeing Ritual Aromatherapy Balm. Delightful Grapefruit helps lift your spirits, while Lemon Myrtle energises and refreshes, and Spearmint is both uplifting and positive. Apply it when you wake up and throughout the day to counteract low mood. For sure, this uplifting citrus and mint blend will deliver an instant burst of positivity, helping you to reset and reinvigorate your mood.
We would love to hear about your mental wellness journey. You can also keep in touch via our Instagram @iamscentered or sign up to our newsletter for updates, news and offers.