Because SAD season is almost upon us, FFS.
1. A giant Yorkshire pudding crammed with buttery mash, sausages, peas and onion gravy is a meal, a very important meal we must always remember exists. Because, well, comfort.
2. Sleep deprived people have a harder time remembering positive ideas compared to negative ideas. Translation: If you’ve been denying yourselves early nights and long lazy lie-ins you’ll think you’re fat, your life is horrendous and everything in the world is against you. It’s not.
3. Happiness is apparently optimised at 13.9 degrees and not at the 30 degrees of pure beach sunshine we assume it is. So basically, you essentially need to book a city break this autumn if for your mental well being and nothing else. Paris, New York and Milan are all around this in October. Just in case, y’know, you needed inspiration.
4. Dens are a thing that plagued your childhood with happiness. Just remember what fun and comfort can be created by a few blankets, duvets and pillows when in a state of emotional panic.
5. You can make a pretty ace and soothing face mask by sprinkling a piece of kitchen roll with warm water and moisturiser. Just remember to cut out nose, eye and mouth holes first.
6. The best is yet to come – or so they say. Studies have shown you have more happy days and less down days the older you get. Here’s to being a wise old content grandma eating an entire pack of biscuits whilst watching Jonathan Creek.
7. Women, on average, spend 16 months of their lives crying. So if you’re sobbing relentlessly right now because, well you’re not exactly sure why, chances are there’s thousands of woman across the globe doing the same. You’re far from alone.
8. Crunchies have the same amount of calories as a banana and an apple. Just in case you weren’t quite feeling your diet today (or ever).
9. Oh and pickled onion Monster Munch? Otherwise known as the greatest crisps known to man? A proper 40g size bag, not one of those teeny tiny multi pack size bags, contains just under 200 calories. That’s a giant win to mankind. Especially when hungover. Or feeling distressed following a lunchtime salad.
10. Studies have found that those suffering from depression were 9 per cent likely to relapse if treated by exercise alone. They were 38 per cent likely to relapse is treated by medicine alone. So basically, as much as we would rather sob into another Friends re-run, we should be getting into our trainers – if only for a 10 minute run. YOU CAN DO IT.
11. Aside from the fact a cup of tea hardly has any calories (especially if you drink it without sugar) it’s also scientifically proven to reduce the stress hormone Cortisol, as well as lowering the risks of cancer, strokes and generally improving your immune system. Drink more tea, guys, it will make everything in your life better. Science says so.
12. Shopping is good for improving your mood – as long as you’re buying an experience rather than an object. Those shoes you’ve been eyeing up from Kurt Geiger are a no, but that adventure holiday to Thailand? It’s pretty much medication. Ad if you’re too broke for a holiday? Organise an event with friends. Ideally a sleepover, because sleepovers are something which should NOT be left in 1999.
13. Eggs, turkey, banana, beef and dark chocolate all increase serotonin which is the good stuff in your brain. So yeah, go eat that steak and feel pretty smug about life.
14. In winter it’s harder to get your serotonin fix because it comes from sunshine which is a huge factor in SAD. Those beautiful crisp winter mornings? If you can’t be bothered to put on your wellies and go for a country walk, settle with drinking your morning coffee on your back doorstep. The natural sunshine will give you a mood boost for the rest of the day.
15. When in a moment of despair, remember Dumbledore. ‘Happiness can be found in the darkest of times if one only remembers to turn on the light’.
16. And finally, remember that depression, both mild and severe, can be suffered by anyone. Mental illness doesn’t differentiate between rich and poor people, single people or those in relationships, people with friends or people with no friends, those with great jobs or those unemployed. So when you are feeling on the brink of emotional despair, remember that you can’t help the way you are feeling – it’s not your fault.