Ward off the winter blues

Scotland, Ireland (UK) And New England (USA)

Lots of people get depressed in winter, or suffer from “the winter blues”. The medical name for this (at its worst) is seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Despite the fact that millions of us say we’ve suffered a winter-related low mood, it can feel as though the winter blues is just a myth. But there’s sound scientific evidence to support the idea that the season can affect our moods.

Most scientists believe that the problem is related to the way the body responds to daylight. With SAD, one theory is that light entering the eye causes changes in hormone levels in the body. In our bodies, light functions to stop the production of the sleep hormone melatonin, making us wake up. It’s thought that SAD sufferers are affected by shorter daylight hours in the winter. They produce higher melatonin, causing lethargy and symptoms of depression.

One way to counter any semblance of “the winter blues” is to have something to look forward to, and to head for sunnier summer locations!

Footsteps Walking and Travel Club has opportunities that will help you to do just that. They offer trips for walkers in NZ and overseas:


The Scottish part of the trip (18 days, 29 June – 17 July ex-Edinburgh) precedes the Irish section (also 18 days, 18 July – 3 August ex-Belfast). They dovetail together for those who wish to undertake both parts, but you can also opt to do either one by itself. Together, they explore the best short trails and scenic sights across the length and breadth of Scotland and Ireland.


The trees throughout the six states of New England display the most brilliant natural colours in the United States. The Footsteps Autumn in New England day-walking tour (21 September -12 October, 2024, ex-Boston) is timed to enjoy them at their very best. Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island beckon you to come and imbibe their spectacle.

For further information, go to www.footstepswalkingclub.com, or contact us: footstepsanz@gmail.com, 021 172 3244, 07 544 9509. We would be delighted to hear from you.

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