Beat the winter blues

We‘re officially on the ‘other side’ of winter now.  Chances are, we’ll still have some very chilly days to come, but the end is in sight. Thank goodness!

 

Feeling a little flat during the cooler months is a pretty common complaint. Even if you’re lucky enough to avoid coming down with a cold or flu, life is generally just a little less fun this time of year. Getting out of bed is harder, we tend to feel more tired, and have less ooomph to get out there and socialise. Skipping the gym and rugging up at home in front of the telly is fun the first few times you do it, but it results in even lower energy levels.  It’s no surprise that this is the time of year when a lot of people jet away for a holiday in a warmer climate!

But, you needn’t travel so far or spend so much to beat those winter blues. We’ve got some remedies that will help put a little more bounce in your step:

Exercise:

It might feel like the last thing your body wants but trust us, getting up and out the door for a run or to hit the gym will make a massive difference to your mood and energy levels. If you’re struggling with that mid-year routine boredom, try mixing it up with something new – like a Bikram yoga class (mmmm warmth!) or a dance class for a boost of feel-good endorphins.

Vitamin D:

You’re not imagining it, the lack of sunshine is actually making you feel bad. There is no denying that we are creatures of the light, and there’s stacks of research to show the lack of sunlight in winter has a big impact on our health – especially our emotional and mental well-being. Make a point of getting sunlight when you can, even if it’s just a few minutes walk outside in the morning, or talk to your doctor about a Vitamin D supplement.

Smile more:

We know, we know – eye roll. But, the link between smiling and feeling happier isn’t just a lie, it’s actually backed by science. When you smile, you release a whole host of feel-good chemicals in your brain. Your body relaxes, and blood pressure may be lowered. The best part? Smiling is contagious so if you smile at others, they’ll smile back. And that makes everyone feel good.

A bigger problem:

While most of us suffer from a little bout of down vibes during winter, for some people it’s much more than that. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons. It usually begins with Autumn and continues into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody. If you think your winter blues could be SAD, speak to a health professional.