Now that summer is over, and Autumn is on its way, many people begin suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) a type of depression believed to be caused by the reduction in natural light. The longer nights and shorter days affect the mental state of 1 in 15 people in the UK, according to the NHS. These shorter days can cause depression, anxiety and low energy. So is there anything we can do to limit the effect of SAD on our lives?
In my teenage years, I used to suffer from very low moods during Autumn; I would get irritable, upset and would feel helpless about life. It was my early years of Kung Fu training, and the solution for me was to immerse myself in my training. I trained harder, pushed myself in class harder and this would cause my mood to pick up. The mind training that traditional Kung Fu developed in me helped me identify unskillful thoughts and thought patterns and stop them before they arose. I haven't suffered from SAD in a very long time, and I attribute this directly to my Kung Fu training.
Coming back from summer holidays and getting back to a routine at work can make us feel we are wasting our lives spending our days not doing anything of great consequence. These feelings of longing for something greater can become more apparent during this time of year, and this can cause depression and low moods. The start of Autumn is also a time when people turn to high carb foods to counter these low moods, causing weight gain and bad eating habits.
My advice, as someone who used to suffer from SAD, is to commit to investing time in yourself. Find a new hobby or a new challenge that will make you better and more importantly commit to it and don’t give up. As the owner of a Kung Fu school, I find September/October time to be the time of year that I get the largest number of new members joining my school, looking for a new challenge.
Tiger Crane Kung Fu is an excellent way to keep fit, lose weight, get strong and work on refining your body, mind and spirit. The classes that I run always start with a High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout that aids in endorphin release. Endorphins are the hormones released in our brains and nervous systems that give us that post exercise high that we feel after a challenging workout.
So what are you waiting for? Come along and try a class!