The winter period is here, and the days are increasingly shorter while the night sky lengthens. This means during the winter months, we are exposed to less sunlight which causes our body to produce less serotonin but more melatonin; a hormone that prepares the body for sleep. This can trick your body into believing it should constantly be in the state of rest or sleep; affecting your mood, alertness and energy levels.
(One of a few pics of snow I currently have right now :-()
Usually, I manage to budge the blues quite early on, but this year has been a struggle. Therefore, I thought I would put up a post to help others fight the funk with me by sharing a few tips. December by far is the darkest month of the winter season, but for many it’s the months of January and February are where the increased pressure of wintery doom and gloom sits. If your moods tend to deep-dive once the cold weather hits, you’re certainly not alone.
Read on for my tips:
Research has shown that a daily one-hour walk in the middle of the day could be as helpful as light treatment for coping with the winter blues – I like to go for a walk during my lunch break, and a walk after dinner.
See the Sun
Get your bum outdoors, in the fresh air and grab some natural daylight. Inside your home, choose pale colours that reflect light from outside, and sit near windows whenever you can. I have recently also purchased some Vitamin D supplments to help fuel my winter blue battle!
Keep warm with hot drinks and hot food. Wear warm clothes and shoes,keep your body toasty.
I know it’s kind of a given, and it’s all we hear about at the mo, but this definitely had to be on the list! A healthy diet will boost your mood, give you more energy and stop you putting on weight over winter (WIN WIN). Balance your craving for carbohydrates, such as pasta and potatoes, with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. I am the worlds worst for binge eating when I am down in the dumps, of course I plan to eat far too much turkey, stuffing and wine etc. but the additional munches are something I am going to try my best to avoid. When I eat too much junk food, I find my skin, mood etc goes all upside down and this definitely effects my mood!
Take up a new hobby
Keeping your mind active with a new interest seems to ward off symptoms of SAD. I believe this fends off depression off in general though. I have on/off suffered over the past few years, and I find whether its an exercise class or learning a new skill… It keeps my mind at peace, and the social environment helps to brighten my mood and insecurities.
See your friends and family
It’s been shown that socialising is good for your mental health and helps ward off the winter blues. Make an effort to keep in touch with people you care about and accept any invitations you get to social events, even if you only go for a little while. You’ll enjoy yourself once you get out! 🙂
Sometimes, these things aren’t an easy fix. If your symptoms are so bad that you can’t live a normal life, see your GP for medical help. There is no harm in asking for a little extra help.
These points might not help everyone, but they have certainly contributed to me being able to function in recent times. Please let me know if you have any other suggestions, or if this post is at all helpful! Just get in touch! 🙂