Are you SAD?

The facts:

The acronym SAD stands for Seasonal Affective Disorder.  It is a form of depression that occurs only during certain periods of the year. In some cases, an existing depression may become more severe during certain times of year. The most recognized form of seasonal affective disorder is “winter depression” or more commonly know as the ”winter blues”.   Depression  effects 320 million people worldwide and according to the SAD association SAD effects 7% of the population every winter.

What causes it?

SAD is caused by a biochemical imbalance in the hypothalamus which controls sleep, mood and appetite due to the shortening of daylight hours – FACT – 75% of the population in the 19th Century worked outdoors, today only 10% work in natural light.

Other factors believed to be causes are – Low serotonin levels – Levels of serotonin have been found to be lower in depressed people, in winter. It’s thought that this neurotransmitter might not work properly in people with SAD – Low Melatonin levels – People with SAD have been found to produce much higher melatonin levels in winter than those who don’t have SAD symptoms.

What are the symptoms?

Depressed mood, over-sleeping or the urge to “hibernate”, cravings for carbohydrate rich foods, and associated overeating and weight gain, inability to  concentrate, anger, stress, tension and a low immune system are some of the characteristic symptoms. There is typically an onset of symptoms in September and a decline of symptoms when spring commences.

Like all forms of depressive illness, SAD can vary greatly in severity and can be a severely debilitating condition. Many sufferers can be perfectly healthy during the spring and summer months but unable to function during the winter. This leads to obvious problems with work and family life.

Getting treatment and help

Bright light therapy is the most effective treatment for most helping about 80 per cent of people, usually within three to five days. It means spending some time each day exposed to very bright light, at least ten times the intensity of domestic lighting.  Eating a balanceD healthy diet including plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables can also help along with daily walks or outdoor physical exercises in the fresh air.

Links and further information

Winter Wellness Retreats to lift your spirits

Keep active this winter with yoga and pilates

It’s that time of the year when we feel like hibernating and our appetites increase! We can become rather sluggish, lazy and inactive! There are plenty of winter classes happening around the Island to keep the body moving and warm. 

A great way to start the morning and put a spring in your step even though it’s autumn! Your body and mind will thank you for it 🙂

For the latest wellbeing classes happening over the colder months visit:

And remember to wrap up warm! 🙂

Mindful Eating

Mindful Eating

As we move into the autumn season and the weather gets cooler, are we paying attention to our bodies and what we eat?  By listening to our bodies we can re-awaken our taste-buds and discover what we really need to provide enough nutrients, goodness, vitamins and minerals.  A great way of tuning back into our bodies and hearing that inner voice is through fasting.  Ones mind becomes clearer and ones ability to think is enhanced, both the mental and physical senses are heightened.

Being more mindful and aware of what we eat – eating in silence – enjoying our food and giving it thought really changes the energy vibration.  Food preparation, preservation and consumption are those soulful acts that can help us to correct imbalance. Mindful eating engages our body, our heart, our mind and our soul and can bring us back into balance heart, soul and mind. The relationship we can have with food is a spiritual relationship deeply meaningful personally and socially.

Mindful eating is eating with intention, attention and respect for the meal/food in front of us.  When we don’t listen, our minds override all those positive impulses driven by our emotions which are the glue that holds our mind and body together. During the fast the unhealthy emotions are released and re-evaluated therefore forming a healthier stronger glue holding us together.  Eliminating the emotional dependance on food which can have a devastating effect on delicate emotions.

I highly recommend Ilona Pantel’s Fasting weeks and Detox weekenders at the breathtaking Buddha House.


for further details and the benefits of fasting.