Everyone reacts differently to the changing of the seasons. While some look forward to it, others find the colder weather and lack of sunlight challenging. When you’re dealing with a brain tumour diagnosis, a lack of vitamin D may make you feel more unwell than you would have otherwise and you may feel the cold more.
We asked our community, including Clinical Psychologist Dr Daniel O’Hara, for tips on coping with the change in the seasons. Here’s what they advised:
Top up your vitamin D
“Vitamin D supplements can vastly help with mood changes as the body gets less sunlight. I swear by them and can tell within a few days if I haven’t been taking them.”
“I just think of three positive thoughts or three things I can do every day. Doesn’t matter how small or big they are. Just keeps me positive and happy that we are here.”
Set yourself a goal or two. Have something to aim for through the autumn and winter that's achievable and will make you feel good about yourself.
Spend time with pets
“My golden retriever makes me smile every day.”
“Meeting up with friends and family for a coffee and a good old catch-up is the perfect remedy for me when feeling down in the winter months!”
“If people want to visit, ask them to come when it’s later so you can enjoy the daytime and have company when it turns dark.”
Wrap up warm
“Wrap up warm and have a nap on the sofa in the afternoon.”
I love winter – wrap up warm and cosy, have hot chocolate, watch films on the sofa or in bed or go to the cinema. Put up fairy lights and candle decorations.
“Wear a hat in cold weather. My scar was very sensitive for the first couple of years and felt as though it was being stirred with a wooden spoon, if that makes sense.”
Find a new hobby
"Take up a new hobby like knitting, reading or playing board games with family and friends for an hour.”
“A little bit of exercise, even if you’re feeling really tired, makes a huge difference in your mood. My son came out for a short walk every day while on radiotherapy last winter, it helped his mood massively.”
“I find it enjoyable to go for an evening walk. It can be very refreshing in the cold night air, and quite often everyone else is inside so it can be quite peaceful. But wrap up warm!”
“Notice the little changes in woods and gardens as autumn turns into winter.”
It’s important to remember to look after your health, especially at this time of year, so why not try out some of these tips and see what works best for you?