The long winter months are difficult on everyone. You wake up and it is dark, you finish work and it is dark again. You begin to wonder if you even saw any daylight today? You feel demotivated, sluggish, lacking in energy and constantly wanting comfort food to cheer yourself up a bit.
The hormone, which controls how sleepy you feel, melatonin, is affected by light. Therefore, less daylight means an increase in melatonin. For many people, winter blues is quite natural, yet some may be slightly more affected than others, it is important to be aware of how you are feeling and to recognise the need of getting further medical help if you seem to be feeling further demotivated and/or depressed.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that's related to changes in seasons — SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year. If you're like most people with SAD, your symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody. » Do not ignore these warning signs !
We are here with a few tips and tricks to help you beat the winter blues and get you feeling full of life again!
1. Get Sunlight - Make the most of the little daylight we are getting over the winter by taking an extra walk over lunchtime or ensuring you keep your blinds and curtains open during the day. This will help slow down the production of melatonin.
2. Eat a Healthy & Balanced Diet – Make sure you are eating nutritious wholesome meals, it is important to get as many vitamins and minerals into your diet. Don’t neglect the role played by carbs and protein, as they will help stabilize your energy levels.
It is really vital to start the day with a healthy breakfast. Some of our favourites include overnight oats, omelets, egg muffins, breakfast burritos, avocado on toast and so many more.
Try to keep your energy levels stable throughout the day, so perhaps instead of reaching into the biscuit tin at work, mix it up by snacking on our Mani mixes. They are the perfect mid-morning or mid-afternoon pick-me-ups.
Little tip: they are great sprinkled over Greek or regular natural yogurt.
3. Exercise Regularly - This may be the last thing on your mind when the wind is howling and you are shivering as you walk along the footpath. However, some physical activity a few times a week could really boost your energy levels.
You don’t need to be training for a marathon to get a little boost, try yoga, swimming or even pilates for a gentler form of exercise. For added motivation, grab a partner and try out different classes or sports together!
4. Don’t Neglect Your Beauty Sleep – This is not an excuse for you to hibernate all winter! However, it is very important to get 7-8 hours of undisturbed sleep a night. Staying away from screens an hour before heading to bed may help you fall asleep faster.
5. Get some Winter Sun – If you have the luxury to even take a long weekend away, you can jet off to get a little dose of winter sun which will definitely perk you up a bit. The best European destinations you can jet off to without breaking the bank include: Algarve, Portugal; Tenerife, Spain; Madeira, Portugal; Marrakesh, Morocco or even Cyprus.
6. Consider Light Therapy - Light therapy is thought to affect brain chemicals linked to mood and sleep, easing SAD symptoms. Using a light therapy box may also help with other types of depression, sleep disorders and other conditions. Light therapy is also known as bright light therapy or phototherapy.
During light therapy, you sit or work near a device called a light therapy box. The box gives off bright light that mimics natural outdoor light.
We hope that these little tips and tricks will help you beat your Winter Blues and get you feeling full of energy over the next few months! Just remember to make the most of life and enjoy spending time with friends and family as a being surrounded with the right people and having a good time will also naturally lift your mood!
The Author: Sara Dubler
Sara believes that the key to life is all about balance! She takes part in many fitness activities and sports, her favourite at the minute being CrossFit, which she started in 2017. Sara thinks it is very important to eat healthily and loves cooking up recipes which she shares on her blog www.ahungryblonde.com or through Instagram @_ahungryblonde_.