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Mamuna Arshad

Wishing you all a
Merry Christmas

> December 2013

Beat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) .......

It's an encounter that starts during this time; every year. The weather becomes threatening and unpredictable; changing from mostly mild; yet sunny to grey and bitterly cold. Few people look forward to the dull days and the long dreary nights that winter brings.

SAD is a depressive disorder triggered by a lack of sunlight. For most people, the winter months are the low points, the time when depression becomes really complex to negotiate with.With the clocks moving backwards..... For certain individuals, the change signals an obvious transition in personality; from feeling happy and stress-free to depressed and tense. 

Those that have SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) may have trouble concentrating or focusing. There is a marked lack of interest in daily tasks and activities that they usually enjoy, instead they may feel irritable and down. Then, with the change in seasons (spring/summer), they feel like themselves again.Nobody knows what causes SAD.

Experts believe that light plays a part, and that exposing people with SAD to extra light sometimes improves their mood. Some people feel mildly depressed; In others, energy levels are so low that they aren't able to achieve the things they would like to or would normally be able to during other seasons.

The following remedies may help:

Light Therapy- If you're suffering from seasonal affective disorder increase your exposure to light. Get as much natural light as possible .Get outside and go for a walk. The natural light will do you good. You can also invest in one of the most effective treatments for SAD; a specially designed light box, one that provides enough intensity of light.

Watch what you Eat- Don’t give way to carbohydrate cravings. Instead eat plenty of complex carbs such as wholegrain, bread, pasta and rice. But don’t opt for quick fixes like sweets or chocolate. Try and keep up with the good habits you had in the summer by eating lots of fresh fruit and veg.

Reduce alcohol and caffeine intake- Caffeine may give you a short lift, but it can also be the source of anxiety.
Alcohol, on the other hand, is a depressant, which can further intensify your mood. Your reduced energy level may cause you to turn to caffeine for a boost, but a nice cup of Chamomile, peppermint, and lemon tea are a better choice than teas with caffeine.

Exercise yourself to feeling better- Boost your endorphins by engaging in regular aerobic exercise. Aim to exercise outdoors in the early morning hours to lift your mood. Try walking, jogging, swimming. You can also keep your body's clock in sync by rising and retiring at the same time each day, even on weekends or days off from work.

Goal Setting-Get out of your comfort zone and learn something new. Set yourself a challenge with an achievable target and reward yourself for as job well done

Get plenty of sleep- Regulate your sleeping routine and don’t repeatedly hit the “snooze” button; this will only make you feel even more tired and lethargic once the working week begins.

Best Medicine … Ever-Meet up with friends, chat and have a good giggle. You’ll be amazed at the psychological, physiological and spiritual lift. Laughter is also known be beneficial for your mood and health.

Look after yourself- You don’t have to resort to extremes to pamper yourself or to give yourself a new look to boost your esteem. Book yourself into a salon for a facial or book a spa day to give yourself a complete Boost.

Join a Club- Take up Yoga or Pilates to help energise your Mind, Body and Spirit.

Book a Holiday-Book yourself a holiday and focus on sunnier climates. For most people with SAD, it takes two or three days/a week of bright sunshine to draw out a reversal of SAD symptoms. Whether it's cutting back on caffeine and alcohol or holidaying to a sunnier climate, there are several ways to reduce the effects of SAD. Be sure to seek advice and guidance from a professional if the feelings of depression become overwhelming.

Boost your health this Winter

> November 2013

The cold weather is upon us, and prevention is better than cure, so it’s time to step-up your health game and take extra care of yourself to keep those annoying flus and colds at arm’s length.

Is it a cold or the flu? A common cold, including chest cold and head cold, can be caused by more than 200 viruses. Seasonal flu is caused by three types of viruses: influenza A, B, and C. Flu season usually occurs in the UK from October to April.

Our immune system defends our bodies against infection. When a foreign substance like a virus or bacteria invades the body, cells work together to produce specialised proteins (antibodies) to fight against foreign infection and disorder. You can improve and support your immune system by:

STRESS MANAGEMENT- Stress isn't just an emotion; it has physical repercussions, and chronic stress can negatively affect your immune system. Overcoming stress can be done in two ways, and will ideally involve a little of both. Avoid the activities and people that cause you extreme stress, if possible. While this will help, you must also learn how to cope with the inevitable ups and downs of life in a healthy way.

THE DIET FACTOR - It’s no surprise that stocking up on nutritious foods is vital. Try and Include immune-enhancing foods in your diet including garlic, high quality protein like fish (salmon and mackerel are good because they contribute omega 3 to your diet, which can also support immune response.

You can also incorporate plenty of greens like broccoli, cabbage, kale and Brussels sprouts too. Herbs used to treat colds can be included in your cooking to help maintain your body’s defences.

DRINK WATER - Water helps energise your muscles, improve bowel function, and balance your body's fluid levels. You should drink 8 glasses of water every day.

GETTING ENOUGH SLEEP? - Getting adequate sleep not only improves your mood and energy levels, it prevents strokes and helps you manage your weight. Strive for 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night

AROMATHERAPY- It’s worth taking a trip to your local health care shop to stock up on flu-fighting essential oils. Eucalyptus, peppermint and pine are very effective at boosting the immune system. They are anti-viral and anti-bacterial and can really help support your natural defences.

At home, diffuse the oils in a room fragrancer, alternatively, you can keep a little bottle of oil in your handbag for on the spot relief while out and about, you could try putting a couple of drops onto a handkerchief and inhaling the aroma.

BALANCING ACT- As well as looking after yourself physically, your emotional state can affect your ability to fight off sniffles.

EXERCISE – Keeping fit helps your body release tension. Holding tension is an indicator that you are feeling the impact of stress in your life. Our bodies follow the natural cycles of nature, and as such autumn and winter is a time to shift down a few gears, to rest and relax more.

We should try to reduce our activity levels, do more gentle exercise like walking, Yoga or Tai Chi, in preference to the intense forms of exercise which only serve to exhaust our bodies when we should be preserving our vitality. An intense run on a cold evening wearing only shorts and a t-shirt is definitely a No-No!

SUPPLEMENTS –You can also help to support your diet with essential fatty acids (like omega 3), minerals (such as zinc) and vitamin C. Vitamin D3 also has benefits. It is actually a hormone and it is really important at activating your immune system

Spiritual Freedom

> October 2013

Fly higher than you've ever done before. Aim for what you want, big or small, and see if you can reach the stars! You can feel freedom of spirit and the ability to achieve your dreams by increasing your chances of success in all areas of your life.

Mental, Emotional and Physical Fitness in life isn't just about being super-fit, although that certainly helps! It's about being alert, agile and quick and being able to seize opportunities when they present themselves.

Spiritual Freedom can be used for improving effective purposes, including personal lifestyle, reducing stress, reviving and restoring balance. Like many modern spiritually-based or 'alternative' concepts, you can generate a return to a more harmonious state of the mind, body and spirit.

Even though we are 'designed' to recover from bad experiences or thought processes and patterns, we can be affected by recurring emotions from past events such as relationships, trauma or loss. We can also be affected by ongoing events such as work- stress, home & family struggles, depression and various other kinds of anxieties.

To help you back to lessening life’s burden and to capture life with both hands,Try:

Increasing your awareness. As you go about your daily life see your eyes as windows to the world. Be aware that you live within your physical form but that it doesn't contain you. You can stretch out of it at any time by using all your senses.

Liven up your senses. Add a couple of drops to a bowl of hot water and inhale. Or add to bath water and breathe deeply. Imagine the scent clearing your head.

Eating healthy. Incorporate a diet based on vegetables, fruits, grains and beans.

Remaining optimistic.Keep stress at a minimum if possible.

Stretching & exercising regularly. Try: Standing as tall as you can and imagining you are trying to reach the stars.

Focus on a point above your head and imagine that your dreams are suspended there. Try to touch them. Stretch your neck by twisting your head gently from left to right and up and down again.

Taking discovery walks.Get out there, take in the air and fill your senses.

Attending free local events.Meet new people, take in the arts and culture.

Taking up a hobby or enrolling onto a short course.

Expand your mind and learn something new.

Keeping a diary/ journal. Record your daily activity, capturing feeling and breathing life into the pages.

Getting Creative.Express yourself through Art, Photography or jewellery making.

Being spontaneous.Don’t plan …just do it!

MANTRA - Think about a butterfly, as an example for a second; Butterflies are often seen as a symbol of transformation and reflection. Close your eyes and focus on gently holding the butterfly close to your chest and imagine a it slowly stretching its wings. Feel the butterfly fill out into the palm of your hand and start to flutter. Now imagine it flying free, travelling up into the sky and taking with it all your wishes. Think for a moment about your heart'sdesire.

> September 2013

Back to School

This time of year always brings back memories of a new beginning , sharpened pencils and the start of another academic year.

For those that have children, it’s also a relief to finally get them back into a routine after the summer holidays.

Some of us find ourselves at a loose endwhilst others consider

re training for possible job opportunities.

Going back to adult education can be daunting but the opportunity for further learning can be just as rewarding. After all personal growth and learning play a vital part in our life’s achievements.

Active learning is the one essential activity that everyone needs to nurture and foster, whether it is within your home life, work or getting a PHD, like you’ve always wanted. Continuous learning makes us progressive and encourages us to expand our experience, knowledge and skills

If you are a working adult considering going back to school, you do need to plan.

“Weigh it up!” - Ask yourself "Are you able to fit in a few hours of studying and night classes, as well as having a full/part time job and a family?"If you want to go back to education, you need to find a way to balance your time.

What are your options
- Discuss flexible working hours with your employer. You may find that your employer may even fund you if it is work related. Most employers do like to invest in their employees if they feel you are a good candidate to continue and advance within the company.

Involve your family and friends - Talkto your family and friends about managing family commitments, childcare, and other expenses.

What do you want to qualify in? Start by researching, thoroughly local colleges and University’s and their learning programs. Search the web, talk to co workers, friends, and career advisor’s.

Funding –We all know when researching courses we wish to study that they can be expensive. You must look into your finances and what options are available to you. This could include a grants and loans.

Make your mind up and Stick to it!
Juggling multiple responsibilities is an essential skill. It won’t be easy, but if you stay on top of things, you can do this. Think positive and reap the rewards!

> August 2013

Schedule some time this Summer!

Taking time out this Summer to focus on yourself can help boost and increase your energy and improve your emotional health.

Call time on your hectic schedule and live a healthier, happier life. Relieving stress can lower blood pressure, help you sleep better, and even help you maintain a healthy weight,

Try these ideas for relaxing and recharging in the summertime.

Explore local markets for finds. Lose yourself in a stroll around your market. The hunt for a one-of-a-kind treasure is a great way to snap out of your routine.

Find the time to socialise. Spend your day/night off unwinding with friends at a café or coffeehouse. Plan an evening out or simply book in for a spa weekend.

Clear your Mind. A half hour of meditation or yoga can clear your mind and relievestress, helping you feel more relaxed and calm.

Bury yourself in a book. Spend an hour flipping through your favourite magazines or looking for a fun summer read.

Get out there! Spending time outdoors resets your natural rhythm, Take a walk, eat lunch outside give yourself an opportunity to get outside, helps you feel like you’re part of the summer season

Join a course. Sign up for jewellery, ceramics or art classes. Learning something new can fuel and stimulate your creativity and give you a chance to make new friends with similar interests.

Spend a rainy or sticky summer day at the movies. A comedy, thriller or romance is a great treat for anyone.

With a little planning, you can find time this summer to nurture yourself, which will help keep you healthy.

> July 2013

Beat the Pollen!

Do you, like most people spend your summers suffering with Hayfever?

Hayfever is a common seasonal aversion that causes discomfort to over 25-30 per cent and more of children and adults every year, throughout the spring/summer season from as early as March to September.

The concentration of pollen tends to peak in early July. Allergic reactions are most noticeable in the early morning when the pollen is carried into the atmosphere .

Hayfever is caused by an allergy to seasonal airborne pollens. Sneezing, itchy eyes, running or blocked nose, wheezing and skin irritation are just some of the many associated symptoms. Many of the symptoms of hayfever are similar to that of the common cold, but whereas colds are often associated with a mild fever and usually pass within a week, hayfever sufferers often have a feeling of being tired and exhausted for weeks on end.

Theconventional treatments for sufferes of hayfever consist of anti-histamine tablets and nasal sprays, which only give some temporary relief. With ever increasing numbers of people suffering; little option and relief is found in conventional treatment, many people are now looking to nature to help alleviate the symptoms of hayfever.

The following may help you to relief a few of the symptoms naturally.

Fightthe stress - Stress in hayfever sufferers often causes symptoms to worsen as the body produces cortisone. Meditation helps with relaxation, is kinder to the nervous system and helps to reduce and lower stress.

FlowerRemedies- Chamomile and Elderflower share a number of anti-allergic properties to reduce irritation. Elderflower helps to dry mucus and reduce inflammation in the nasal passages. Chamomile is known for calming anxiety and aiding sleep. For quick relief from itchy eyes, place chilled chamomile teabags onto the eyes, to reduce itching and puffiness.

Acupuncture - Chinese medicine helps to alleviate the symptoms of allergic reactions. For well over 2,500 years, fine needles are carefully inserted into the energy channels of the body which run underneath the skin. Reflexology, working with pressure points in the feet; also work with a similar practice to stimulate the body’s own healing response. Helping to restore the natural balance of the Body.

Exercise- This helps to strengthen the immune system and reduces inflammation and sensitivity to hayfever and it's triggers. Yoga is a soothing form of exercise that is excellent for relaxing the nervous system whilst calming and soothing sensitive allergic responses. 

> June 2013


It's time to get outside! boost your Mind, Body & Soul.

There's no better time to get out and about and get a little exercise into your daily routine.

Whether you like something calming or intense, find your sport and get active. Even if you don't want to play a sport, you can still go for walk.

Here are a few sport suggestions, which are fun in any season, but especially fun in the summer months:

RUNNING OR JOGGING- A fantastic exercise because it's cardiovascular, it boosts the fitness and health of your heart and lungs; burns fat and helps you to lose weight. Running also builds and increases muscular strength, especially in the legs.

TENNIS - This is the ultimate outdoor summer activity because it provides you with a total body workout by strengthening your arms, back, abs, bottom and legs. Furthermore it's a great cardiovascular workout, it improves your coordination, balance and speed.

SWIMMING – Swimming offers the feeling of freedom.The feeling of liberation is one that can't be replicated in many sports. Swimming is soft on the joints: as the water supports you at all times, therefore it is much less likely to cause an injury.

YOGA - This art remains the perfect medium and remedy for stress. In the summer,participating in the outdoors; gives you a different perspective by connecting with oneself, environment and the universe. By removing yourself from the regular setting , helps to leave behind everyday concerns and go deeper into yourself.


During a running session we can sweat up to and anywhere between 0.5 and 1.5 litres. With recent higher temperatures this can be more, so it is easy to see why people become dehydrated Drink water before, during and after a session.

Pace yourself- When first starting to exercise , be mindful of your body's reactions.

if you feel exhausted or breathless ............ STOP. 

> May 2013

Jumping for Joy!

Recent studies indicate that popularity and status do not make people content, despite how our society defines our needs, it’s suggesting otherwise by putting health and happiness at the top of the list.

Research has shown that a person is most healtheist and most successful when he/she is making a positive difference to themselves and others.

We generally define happiness as enjoying life, having and being at peace with oneself and being content in life. Having a life purpose will help drive motivation, energy and attention to all aspects of your life.  

  • Set yourself goals and attain them - Confidence increase as goals are met, making you feel happier.
  • Seek the Company of positive people- It is easy to begin to think negatively when you are surrounded by friends, family and colleagues that are constantly down trodden and feel the world is out to get them.
  • Find the Solution- Don’t allow set backs to affect your mood and don’t allow others to affect you either.
  • Stop, Pause and Play- before you jump into doing what you feel pressured to do. Take some deep breaths. Give yourself an opportunity to think , You will realise that there are other options and choices available to you.
  • Find a moment and contemplate–Take time out and treat yourself.
  • Have a Laugh- Lighten up !
  • Stay Healthy – Feeling insecure in how we look and feel makes us feel unhappy. Being overweight or not eating the right foods can have a negative effect on us. Exercise has been known to release endorphins that give you a feeling of happiness, so get out there and get active.
  • You’ve earned it! – You so deserve to be happy so believe it!

> April 2013 -Vital Boost!

Most of us probably don't need convincing that stress can take its toll on our overall health; start by putting a bounce in your step this spring with these quick-fix energy boosters to keep you full of the joys of life. Having fun and enjoying life are important to increase our health, vitality and longevity.

Just take a Deep Breathe – In most Alternative Medicine, one of the most important ways to encourage energy or 'qi' is to simply breathe slow and deep. Stress and bad lifestyle choices are some of the reasons why a healthy

supplement of oxygen doesn’t quite reach the bottom of our lungs so make sure you're getting your full allowance by practicing breathing from you diaphragm.

If you are at work, remember to take a 60 second break. Stop what you are doing, close your eyes and breathe deeply; stand up and stretch; drink a glass of water. Doing this will help to re energise you .

Kick start your Energy - Feeling good doesn't have to mean exhausting yourself in a routined and scheduled workout; as long as you are enjoying some kind of activity that gets the blood pumping, be sure to exercise at least 30 minutes a day or 2-3 times each week for 1-2 hours .Take care not to overdo it.

Enjoy your Life - Studies repeatedly demonstrate the health benefits of socialising with fa mily and friends. Those people with a healthy social network enjoy their lives than those who routinely isolate themselves.

De - Clutter your Mind- Switch off your active mind and relax. Find ways that will help you to unwind. Whether, it is pottering in the garden or starting a new hobby; it is essential to find time for your self. You can also put time aside and enjoy a much needed massage for an hour.

Massage Therapy helps reduce stress, encouraging relaxation and deep breathing to promote an increased oxygenation of the body, which is essential in the prevention and healing of your Mind, Body and Soul. Therapies , such as Aromatherapy can work wonders when boosting a “get-up-and-go” drive. The aromas trigger certain neural pathways in the brain, which can improve well being. The end result is that your sleep can improve, and you can feel uplifted and energised.

Meditation Exercises–Meditation comes in various arts and guises and is usually a mastered therapy; exercising the Mind ,Body and/or Soul . There are lots of different ways to meditate, from sitting in the garden, seeking one to one tuition or simply joining a class within your community centre.

Keep Hydrated – Are you drinking enough water? You should be aiming to drink around two litres of pure water a day but herbal teas are also beneficial.

The Sole ! – Take time to look after your feet and give yourself a foot massage or book yourself an appointment with a trained Reflexologist. A qualified Practitioner will trigger reflexology points on your feet that are connected energetically to other parts of your body. By massaging these points, this Therapy encourages and increases energy to flow more smoothly and boost your wellbeing.

Infusion Remedies - Flower Remedies are a great instant fix when you're feeling not quite yourself and slightly jaded or out of sorts. They are a great way to enhance your energy.

Supplement Yourself !- Coenzyme Q10 is a vitamin-like substance found in every cell in the body and helps to play a role in the production of the amino acid which the body naturally produces in the brain, heart and kidneys and helps to build energy, stamina and strength.


The Great Depression

Don't blame yourself - This is the simplest, cheapest, and most important thing you can do to beat depression. The stigma of depression, plus feelings of guilt and inadequacy, can get in the way of recovery. Managing the symptoms of depression requires a practical, proactive approach and patience.

You need to be able to own the reality that depression is a physical illness like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Talk about it - It’s not easy, but telling people about your depression is better than keeping it a secret.

Even if they don’t entirely understand what you’re going through, friends, family, and other confidants can provide emotional support, help you seek out treatment options, and serve as sounding boards. 

Regular exercise - It may be the last thing you feel like doing when you’re depressed, but going for a run or hitting the gym can actually make you feel better .

When done regularly, 30 minutes or more of vigorous exercise has been shown to improve the symptoms of depression. In one study, patients who worked out regularly on a treadmill or stationary bike for 12 weeks saw the severity of their symptoms reduced by nearly 50%.

Exercise has short-term benefits too: Other research has found that workouts can boost your mood for up to 12 hours. Put off any major decisions, Depression can affect your perceptions and judgment, so it’s wise to put off big decisions about your relationships or career until you’re feeling better.

Making a decision - If you absolutely must, don’t be impulsive. People close to you whom you trust, such as your family and friends can help. Take care of your health - If you’re feeling depressed, it's tempting to let your health slide. But failing to take care of your overall health can make depression symptoms worse.

The relationship between depression and health conditions , such as diabetes and heart disease is a chicken-and-egg phenomenon. Research suggests that depression can aggravate these conditions, but the opposite also appears to be true. People who experience diabetes-related complications are more likely to be depressed , for instance, and there is also some evidence that the stresses of heart disease contribute to depression, especially following a heart attack.

Eat a healthy diet - What you eat affects your brain, not just your body, so if you’re feeling depressed it’s important to eat a healthy, balanced diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and protein.

No food is a silver bullet for fighting depression, but some foods may affect your mood more than others. For example, carbohydrates and foods that contain vitamin D boost levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter associated with . Avoid drugs and alcohol - Although it can be tempting to drink or use drugs, don’t do it. Substance use and abuse can wreak havoc in people with depression. People who suffer from depression and anxiety often turn to alcohol and drugs to relieve their symptoms, but that strategy tends to be harmful in the long run.

Drinking and drug use affect brain chemistry, and they can cause problems in relationships, work, and other aspects of life. (They can also be dangerous when combined with some antidepressants.) Although the occasional glass of wine probably won’t hurt you, people with depression should limit their alcohol consumption, and, of course, say no to drugs.

Try to sleep well - Depression and a lack of sleep often go hand-in –hand. Sleep problems such as insomnia are common in depression, and for many people a lack of sleep depresses mood.

This isn’t true for everybody, however; though the effect tends to be short-lived, sleep deprivation actually boosts mood in some people with depression.

Much remains unknown about the connection between depression and sleep, and everyone has different sleep needs, but experts recommend that depressed people get enough sleep and maintain a regular sleep-wake schedule.

Don't overschedule - Feeling stressed and overwhelmed is a common trigger for depression symptoms. If you’re struggling with depression, it’s important not to overschedule your time and take on more than you can manage. If you have complicated tasks to perform at work or at home, break them up into manageable pieces.


Seasonal Affective Disorder or just sad?

Everyone feels a little melancholy when the days are short and cold. For some people, seasonal change brings with it something more serious than the blues: seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a form of depression that can be debilitating.

Daytime may not help, since darker mornings in the fall or spring are particularly difficult for those with SAD. Mild forms of SAD are believed to affect as many as 20% of people. Sadness SAD is a form of depression, and it shares most of the same symptoms. The two most common symptoms of depression are feelings of sadness and hopelessness, and losing interest in activities such as socialising, that you normally find pleasurable.

If you experience these symptoms every day for at least two weeks, it’s a sign of depression. If you feel this way only during the Autumn and Winter, these symptoms disappear during the rest of the year, it may be a sign of SAD.

Sleepiness and fatigue People with SAD tend to feel the need to sleep more during the wintertime sometimes a lot more Just because you’re sleeping more doesn’t mean you'll feel rested, however. Other research has shown that people with SAD experience more insomnia and sleep disturbances, and are more prone to nodding off at work

Irritability and Anger are common, yet often overlooked symptoms of depression and SAD. Research suggests that people with SAD are significantly more irritable than healthy individuals. They may also be more prone to anger than people with regular depression.

Increased appetite, like depression in general, SAD can increase appetite in some people. Sixty-five percent of people with the disorder report being hungrier during the colder, darker months.

The insatiable appetite that sometimes accompanies SAD may be a biological response to a seasonal drop in serotonin, a neuro-transmitter that’s associated with mood and helps to control hunger. Though it can help you feel better temporarily, eating more and being cooped up during the winter can really pack on the pounds: Nearly 75% of people with SAD gain weight. Carb cravings One of the reasons that people with SAD tend to gain weight is that the disorder can produce a strong craving for carbohydrates such as bread and pasta.

Gorging on carbohydrates causes the levels of an amino acid to rise in the brain. This in turn causes the release of serotonin, which boosts mood. In effect, people with SAD use carbohydrates as a kind of medication and a bigger waistline is a common side effect.

Difficulty concentrating, Depression can make you feel sad and alone, but it also compromises how well your brain works. The condition has been shown to affect a range of mental processes, including concentration, speaking ability, and memory.

Loss of interest in sex, Depression doesn’t exactly make you feel sexy. A loss of interest in sex is a common symptom among people with SAD and depression alike.

But this only tends to be true among people who experience SAD in the autmn and winter. If the disorder appears in the spring and summer a much rarer condition sometimes called “summer depression” or “reverse SAD”, some of the symptoms tend to be the opposite of winter SAD. One of the hallmarks of summer depression is an increased sex drive.

> January


Ways to fight and ward off colds and flu ......

We’ve all been there, seated next to a sniffling, sneezing, coughing person with no escape or route available, worried that the next day we’ll be the one’s suffering . But the truth is, catching an illness can’t always be blamed on the obvious offenders.

Though you can pick up germs just about anywhere disturbingly, viruses can linger on surfaces such as cash machines, public transport and in waiting rooms to mention a few; for up to 48 hours. Actually coming down with a cold or flu is a complex process, one that you can overcome by following these stay-healthy tips…Wash, rinse, repeat 

The number one thing you can do to protect yourself from a cold or flu is to wash your hands thoroughly and frequently. Lather up with running water and soap and scrub your palms, between your fingers, thumbs and the backs of your hands for a minimum of 20 seconds.

Moisturise in the air Turns out, very humid air might be toxic to flu viruses. Scientists aren’t quite sure why, but one possibility is that droplets that contain the virus shrink quickly in dry environments, allowing them to float around longer; in moist air those same droplets might remain heavy and fall to the floor faster. Invest in a humidifier that keeps the humidity level between 40 and 60 per cent.

Skip that second (and third) drink Alcohol can impair your white blood cells’ ability to combat viruses for up to 24 hours after you overindulge, according to many studies in Immunology. Aim to keep to a reasonable one drink per day during cold and flu season.

Don’t rely on C Yes, you read that right. Though it’s been touted as a cold fighter for decades, vitamin C has never been proven to fend off a cold or flu. Multiple studies show it does next to nothing to speed up recovery if you’re already sick, like anything this is debateable.

Sleep more People who routinely get fewer than seven hours of shut-eye a night triple their risk of developing a cold compared with those who doze for eight or more hours.

Taste the Rainbow Immune-boosting antioxidants in brightly coloured fruit and veg and battle the free radicals that dampen your natural defences. Eat plenty of fresh produce and remember, the brighter the colour/hue, the higher the antioxidant count .

Happy New Year