For some people, Christmas – and winter – is the most wonderful time of the year. Cosy nights in, family time, warm meals. It’s pretty much bliss, right? Not for millions of people all over the world who are hit by the winter blues – or seasonal affective disorder, as it’s officially known. Characterised by tiredness, low mood and a general lack of passion for daily life, the winter blues is a real, serious condition. For some people, it can also be completely debilitating.
Here we take a look at ways in which we can all help our bodies adjust during the winter months. Let us know over on our Facebook page if you have any of your own tips!
Bring the light to you
There’s a real shortage of natural light in the winter months. And, sadly, that’s one thing we can’t change. But where there’s a will, there’s a way. And if we can’t bring the sun out, then we’ll bring the sun to us. Sort of.
While some people like to invest in light box treatment, a cheaper alternative is a dawn simulator. The product uses a natural, gradually brightening light to get your body used to the idea of waking up. More scientifically, it tells the body to produce more cortisol which will help set a healthier sleep/wake cycle. Perfect for those winter mornings when the sun doesn’t make an appearance until almost lunchtime.
Maintain healthy eating habits
While for some people winter signals a time to binge on warm comfort food, this can actually be counterproductive. It’s actually recommended that we stick to our five (or more) portions of fruit and veg. That way we can avoid putting on unnecessary weight over the season – and keep our energy levels up.
If in doubt, think colourfully
OK, colourful cake probably isn’t what the experts meant when they said to eat lots of brightly coloured goods. But heaps of bright goods (like the aforementioned fruits and vegetables) can benefit everyone during the winter months. Additionally, top up your Vitamin D levels with some supplements.
Make the most of whatever sun there is
Unfortunately, we can’t all live in the Caribbean. Sorry. But it’s still important to make the most of what we’ve got. So if you have just a few hours of sunlight, treat yourself to a brisk lunchtime walk. Or start the day with a morning jog. The motion of exercise will also help your mood, as it helps raise your serotonin levels. Two for the price of one – can’t do much better than that.
Give yourself something to look forward to
It can be easy to fall into the trap of dreading Winter. Especially when experience has taught you that it’s something awful. But there are ways to trick your brain into thinking otherwise. Give yourself something to look forward to. It could be something like a day out with friends. It could be the chance to really get into a winter sport, like skiing. If you can afford it, it might even be the chance to fly off to an exotic, sunny country. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s something that you really love.
Found these tips to combat the winter blues helpful? Why not have a read of some of our other articles, including Winter Is Coming. Here Are 5 Ways To Prepare and These Are The Best Christmas Specials of All Time