Five tips to beat the winter blues
As the days get shorter, the mornings gloomier and evenings darker, you can probably feel yourself slipping into ‘hibernation mode.’ You’re not the only one though. Chilly weather and grey skies making you feel less than your best is a real thing. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) affects around 2 million people in the UK and is characterised by feeling more down, sad, or just less energised than usual. But, how can you get rid of that blah feeling and banish those winter blues?
What are the symptoms of ‘SAD’?
If you have SAD, this is a form of clinical depression that reoccurs around the same time each year. You might experience:
- Feelings of hopelessness and despair
- Problems sleeping
- Trouble concentrating
- Changes in appetite
How to banish the winter blues
Don’t let winter get you down… If you don’t have the luxury of hibernating in your bed for the next 4 months, there are some simple ways you can lift your mood.
Here’s our top five tips for keeping those down in the dumps feelings at bay:
- Keep active
Whilst you’ll probably feel like just curling up on the couch in winter, it’s good to keep as active as you can to combat the winter blues. Regular exercise will keep you positive and feeling like you’re achieving something good for yourself. Exercising also releases your happy hormone - serotonin - so not only is it good for your health, it makes you feel good too! It doesn't have to be a long run or a sweaty gym sesh. Just getting outside and having a wander, stretching your legs and enjoying some fresh air will do you the world of good.
- Don’t be a stranger
Making sure you keep in touch with your loved ones over the winter period helps you stay more connected to the world and feel less isolated. Try to catch up with a friend for a coffee and a chat even when you don’t feel like it but if this is hard because of distance or travel, pick up the phone, sometimes just the sound of your bestie's voice is all you need to perk you up.
- Eat well
It’s easy to turn to comfort food when you’re not feeling at your best, but make sure that you’re not just mindlessly eating your way through that share bag of crisps. Try to be more conscious about your eating habits in the winter months. Making sure you’re getting your five-a-day is a good place to start so you can try to get the right nutrients to keep your energy and immune system boosted. There are a ton of yummy + healthy recipes out there to try!
- See the light
There’s not much sunlight around at this time of year, so it’s important to get our vitamin D from other sources like diet and supplements. If you’re grabbing every opportunity for sun and it’s still not enough try getting a SAD lamp, these light boxes give up to ten times stronger light than normal home or office lights and they can help boost your levels of serotonin.
- Stick on something upbeat
Switch off that Adele and step away from the Coldplay records! Research has shown that listening (and dancing!) to some cheerful, upbeat music can improve your mood – even after the song ends. The same can also be said for films and TV shows – putting your favourite feel-good comedy or rom com could help you laugh away those seasonal blues. If you don't feel like it, just give it a try and see how you feel.