Foreword by Ami Smart of Honeysuckle Healing:

Welcome everybody to the first Guest Blog of the year!

With the Winter Solstice, Yule and Christmas seeming a distant memory already, we pack up the decorations for another year and put on thicker jumpers to get through the increasingly colder days and nights as we find ourselves in January and in 2018!

January’s Honeysuckle News has had a theme of taking care of ourselves and bringing patience and kindness to our lives, as we head into the month that can bring a bit of a lull and anti-climax, as well as evoke a lot of emotions and self administered pressures to ‘perfect’ ourselves in some ways.

That said, I am so pleased to welcome Aubrey to this months Guest Corner who is a hypnotherapist, counsellor and generally beautiful lady.  I met the lovely Aubrey at a meditation circle some time ago and I can’t remember if it was her amazing tattoos or her amazing energy that I was drawn to first! Needless to say I was hooked as soon as I met her, and knew that this was a good egg that I needed to get to know.

I have personally sampled both Counselling and Hypnotherapy with Aubrey, both of which have been fundamental on my own healing journey and helped me to be where I am today.  I utilised hypnotherapy with Aubrey before running the Bristol 10K and know this positivity and change in mind-set kept my legs turning through the pain, alongside my Reiki and Bach remedies.

This month, Aubrey talks about seasonal affective disorder (otherwise known as SAD) and just how common it can be amongst us all at this time of year.  As with all guests who kindly write for Honeysuckle News, Aubrey brings with her some empowering tools, which help us to recognise and in turn manage this disorder should it resonate with you.  I really enjoyed reading this blog and it definitely gave me some seasonal tips and food for thought.

Heartfelt thanks to Aubrey for bringing her skills to our guest spot this month.

With love and new year blessings,





January Guest Corner

Q&A With Aubrey Dye-Welch


‘Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)’


What is SAD?

SAD is the abbreviation for Season Affective Disorder, which is a condition that affects our mood and can present in many ways.   SAD can feel like depression; low mood, low energy, negative thoughts and lack of motivation. However, it can also present as increased anxiety, insomnia, feeling overwhelmed, or having mood swings. 

Isn’t SAD something we all get at this time of year?

Knowing whether it’s a problem for you is really about noticing if your ‘normal’ changes for the worse when the days get shorter.  Things may just start to feel harder for some people, with symptoms and ability to ‘cope’ worsening for those affected by it.

What are the common symptoms of SAD we should be aware of?

Aside from the already mentioned, common symptoms are:

  • irritability
  • feelings of despair, guilt and worthlessness
  • low self-esteem
  • tearfulness
  • lack of sex drive
  • less sociable
  • difficulty concentrating
  • have an increased appetite or craving for carbohydrates


Is it a physical or mental health issue?

So, is something happening in your body to make these changes occur?

The truth is, doctors aren’t 100% sure what causes SAD. However, they have a pretty good idea that it’s linked to the amount of natural sunlight we are getting. We get vitamin D from sunlight, and without enough vitamin D, we can’t produce the hormones (such as serotonin) which make us feel happy or relaxed. So, in summary, SAD is both a physical and mental health issue. As a result, the best treatments will address both problems.

How do you know if you have SAD?

I think it must’ve taken me a few years, a few cycles of experiencing it, before I realised I suffered from SAD. In fact, the term was probably mentioned to me several times before I really took notice. Largely, it is understood that SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder, is when the changing of the seasons makes you feel depressed or tired; but it is so much more than that.

The best way to find out is to start keeping a diary, and then to ask your GP or therapist. It’s a very difficult disorder to diagnose, so it may be several seasonal cycles of experiencing the symptoms before you can be sure it’s SAD and not another condition. Luckily, most of the treatments for SAD are things you can try yourself, and that won’t harm you if it turns out to be something else!

What are your tips for feeling better at this time of year?

To help the physical health issue (i.e. try to get more vitamin D), you can:

  • Use light boxes (10,000 lumens; these can be bought online)
  • Take vitamin D tablets
  • Use a sun bed (5 minutes every 2 weeks or so worked for me!)
  • Take walks regularly and sit near windows in the day
  • Light exercise
  • Balance your diet
  • And if you get a diagnosis, you can be prescribed antidepressants to supply your serotonin levels

For the mental health symptoms and energy levels, you can:

  • Use positive affirmations
  • Meditate
  • Have reiki treatments
  • Seek Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
  • Try hypnosis
  • See a counsellor

Overall, what is your advice to help us to take better care of ourselves this Winter?

My advice would be to use your instincts and trust your knowledge of your body; you’ll know what has worked for you in the past, and what you’re naturally drawn to. It’s always good to seek a professional opinion before trying anything you’re not sure about; check out the NHS website, or contact specific holistic practitioners for further information. We are generally helpful and friendly!

In summary, try to take time for yourself over these dark and cold months. Notice any changes and try to address them early enough so that they don’t affect you too much (though an extra nap or two won’t hurt you). Be kind to yourself, and kind to others who may also be finding winter tough. And don’t forget to always ask for help if you need it!


Aubrey is a hypnotherapist and counsellor who has been practising for 5 years.  Aubrey offers 1 to 1 sessions, group sessions, and personalized hypnosis recordings Details of her practice and services can be found on her website or for more regular updates you can follow her on Facebook 


Sharing is caring!  Sharing my blogs, quoting my insights, and your continued support is always appreciated.  However, if you reference any of my work then please credit Honeysuckle Healing, and include links to the appropriate piece so that others may benefit from these tools too.  I work hard to ‘give back’ to my community through my free blogs and self-empowering online content.  I can only continue to meet this dedication through your respect and recognition.  Thank you


Legal disclaimeras always, my guests are invited to share their work with you in order to support your healing journey as a whole, by giving you empowering tips and food for thought.  I only invite guests whom I know to be insured and practising to the best of my knowledge at the time of their guest spot.  I will only welcome guests that I have personally used the services of, and have found to benefit my own individual healing journey as a result.  However, if you choose to book any treatments or use any guests services as a result of my monthly interviews, then please be aware that you act personally on this decision.  Honeysuckle Healing take no responsibility for the outcome of this decision and these guest blogs do not act as a referral or recommendation service.  Please ensure that these guests and services meet your individual requirements prior to booking.  Thank you


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