While winter brings beautiful snowy scenes for most of us, the summer spring in your step may seem long gone and the motivation to hit the gym, or simply spend time with friends isn’t always there.
Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be that way. Our winter pick me ups will help you regain motivation and put your winter wellness defences in place.
Combat any cold snap lethargy
Light warm summer mornings are a real motivator. Cold, dark mornings are the exact opposite, so don’t try and do the same thing. When it’s cold this actually impacts your blood flow, and muscle strength making you feel lethargic. It’s easy to jump up and hit the gym before work in July, in December kick off your day stretching, meditating or doing yoga in warm clothes.
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Exercise indoors under bright lights
Exercise is the perfect tonic to banish winter blues. Just as much as 30 minutes of brisk walking a day has been shown to improve mild symptoms of depression. But for SAD, it may be even better to exercise under bright lights inside. Studies have shown that doing so actually improved social functioning, mental health, vitality and combatted symptoms of depression – so it’s time to take your exercise regime indoors.
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Turn your back on the binge
When the weather’s bad, our levels of serotonin dip, increasing our cravings for white carbs. While pasta and white bread aren’t ideal, trying to boost your mood with carb and calorie heavy pizza, or high fat burgers and takeaways is a real winter no no.
Don’t give in to the cravings and instead switch up your diet to include seasonal starchy veg. Pumpkin or parsnips are not only high-quality carbs, they’re great sources of added vitamins, fibre and minerals. And if you want to feel like you’re getting your binge fix, but stay healthy and keep your SAD defences fighting, we might have just the thing for you with our alternative binge.
Bring brightness into your life
In the depths of winter when your body is craving the sun’s natural light, brighten up your day and your mood with an artificial light or light box for just half an hour. Apparently, this can be just as good as taking anti-depressants.
You can also invest in a dawn simulator; a device that causes light in your bedroom to come on gradually, simulating the natural effect of dawn on your body. This can impact on your mood and most importantly make it easier to get out of bed on a cold morning.
Plan your next adventure
Sometimes the simplest things can be the best solutions. We all feel good when we have something to plan and look forward to. The positive thoughts of dreaming of warm sea and white sand can boost your overall happiness. There’s a reason a lot of us start planning our summer holidays in winter.
Spend time with your friends
According to research, spending time with your friends can help relieve stress, giving you a sense of belonging and improving your well-being. This winter get some real face to face time in with your friends, rather than just the screen time.
You know you can banish the winter blues. With a few simple changes to your daily routine, you’ll get the best out of what winter’s really about.