Six Ways to Fend Off the Winter Blues

Leaving for work in the dark and getting back post sunset is a sure fire way to drain our energy levels and leave our mood as grey as those rainy skies. Here are some quick tips for boost your mood this autumn and winter.

Embrace the change in seasons
You don’t have to be a Christmas fanatic to embrace the colder months. Yes, the seemingly never ending rain/cold/darkness can feel gloomy, but the crisp, bright mornings, stunning color changes in nature and (fingers crossed!) snowy landscapes bring with them their own beauty. Or why not indulge in those pursuits that only come into their own in winter – cozy fire-side pub quizzes, duvet and movie nights… by seeing winter as an opportunity to make the most of, not simply a season to ‘get through’, will really alter your mood and mindset for the months ahead.

Stay healthy

Winter season doesn’t automatically have to equal cold season. A well-balanced diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables, complex carbohydrates, omega-3s and protein will ensure your body is fighting fit to fend off any germs that are doing the rounds. Overloading on processed, junk foods will weaken your immune system and make you an easy target for the ‘office lurgy’ – you may want to try adding in additional Vitamin C supplements, probiotics or Echinacea to up your defense further.

Get your Vitamin D
Low levels of Vitamin D, which we get through exposure to sunlight, have been proven to be linked with SAD (Seasonal Effective Disorder). In winter it is even harder for us to stay topped up – to optimize your Vitamin D intake try and get outside around lunchtime (11am-2pm) when levels are at their highest, for about an hour. A 100% free way of boosting your mood this winter.

Stay Hydrated
Central heating, cozy fires… they’re all essential if you’re to survive winter without hypothermia, however they’re not great for your skin – or your hydration, which is key for concentration, mood and energy. Ensure you are getting 8 glasses of water a day, or why not curl up with a cup of herbal tea – lemon and ginger is a great winter warmer.

Stay in control
It’s all too tempting to let go of your healthy eating goals come winter – the season for boozy social events, overeating and slouchy knits is all too conducive to letting your willpower slide. Inactivity and overconsumption of processed foods and alcohol will have a huge impact on your mood, not to mention your waistline. Instead, stay focused and in control of your goals this winter so you don’t resort to unhealthy crash diets come New Year’s Day.

Stay active
Rather than feeling glum that you’re not lounging by a pool in the tropics, embrace the activities that you can ONLY do in winter – ice skating, snowball fights, kicking leaves in the park… by keeping active each day you will ensure a regular dose of endorphins, those feel good chemicals our body releases when we exercise, which will keep your mood positive and your energy levels boosted.

By Sally Norton