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January is often a difficult month for many of us bit it can be a time for healing and rest as ESP’s wellbeing writer Karen Devine explains…

Not only does the winter prove a challenge for our immunity but also our mood, energy levels and overall wellbeing. The long nights and lack of natural light affects our circadian rhythm which is our body’s internal clock that regulates our sleep-wake cycle.


We often dread the winter months, yet it can be a time of healing, rest, and repair if only we take some of the subtle cues from nature such as the lack of natural light which indicates that we are not meant to be as active for so long as we are through the summer and autumn.

For this reason, it’s important to get as much winter light as possible especially in the morning as, this switches off the hormone melatonin to tell the body it is in its wake cycle.

In the morning, when we are busying ourselves getting ready with artificial lights on, checking our emails, looking at our phone we are still signaling to the body that it is nighttime, and our melatonin will remain high.  As soon as the sun is up, step out for a few minutes, even if it is a dull or rainy day, this will help you sync to your natural rhythm as you receive the correct light waves.

A balanced sleep-wake cycle (circadian rhythm) is important to regulate our hormones, help us detoxify and repair, reduce inflammation and more, when it is out of balance it can affect –

·        Blood sugar balance

·        Eating habits

·        Mental and emotional health

·        Affect our digestion, cardiovascular, immune, and hormonal systems


Of course, we don’t want to go back to the time of candlelight, but we can take some steps to limit our, unnatural lights, TV and computer use. Listening to a podcast or music will help us reduce looking at these electronics.

If you’re old enough to remember vinyl records, hours would pass in an evening just lying on the living room floor, listening to a good tune or two! Today, whilst we may still use our mobile to get Spotify, we don’t have to sit staring into it.

Dimming the lights, listening to the radio, music or a podcast and getting to bed earlier will lessen your time under unnatural light.

Our winter months really can be nurturing for our mind, body and spirit as well as an opportunity for rest and rejuvenation ready for the spring months which are only a few months away.

Make the most of what winter has to offer us.

In health,


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