Winter blues? Let’s get positive and…

Exercise isn’t only for maintaining your weight, staying fit and healthy, it’s great for relieving the stresses of life. Plus, the effects of a good workout can last for several hours afterwards – you’ll have more energy throughout the day, and your metabolism will stay elevated too. Exercise helps your mind by releasing “feel good chemicals” that improve your mood, big YAY to that!

Fabian Sharp and pasta dish (10/10)Eat well
What and when you eat has a great affect on your mood and energy. Avoid or try to reduce your intake of refined and processed foods (like white breads, rice, and sugar). These foods are not only devoid of the nutrients your body craves, but they deplete your energy levels and can affect your mood – causing depression, lack of concentration, and mood swings. Try to incorporate more complex carbohydrates (whole wheat breads, brown rice, veggies, fruit) and get your daily 8 cups of water. Healthy foods provide your body (and mind) with nutrients, and stabilise your blood sugar and energy levels.

SunshineGet some sun
Most people already know that sunlight provides us with Vitamin D. But did you know that it also improves your mood? Winter days are shorter and darker than other months, and because of the cold weather, a lot of people spend less time outdoors. Lack of sunlight can cause many people to feel a little down – without knowing why! Try to spend a little more time outdoors.  Keep your blinds up at home/work during the day to let more light in or invest in a SAD lamp. 
Ooh maybe even plan a Spring/Summer holiday, and have something to look forward to!

Winter tripod poseRelax and embrace the season
You’re busy, of course, who isn’t… Even if you enjoy being busy, we all need a little time off now and then. Try to spend a little time each day doing absolutely nothing! Read a book or magazine, forget late night darts or snooker on the telly and go to bed early, try some meditation or do yoga. Relaxation, especially in the form of yoga can de-stress you and leave you with a calm energy. Mental exercises such as meditation and positive thinking can help keep the so called ‘Winter blues’ away, boost your energy and keep a pep in your step. Perhaps take up a winter sport – ice-skating, snowboarding, skiing, and enjoy the season whilst it lasts.

SleepGet some sleep
People naturally want to sleep a little bit more during the winter. But with all that we have going on, sometimes sleep is the first thing to go. With a little self-discipline, you can meet your shut-eye needs. Aim for 7-8 hours each night, and try to keep your bedtime and waking time consistent. That way, your sleeping patterns can normalise and you’ll have more energy. Try not to oversleep – lovely long 12-hour snoozes on the weekend can actually make you MORE tired. Don’t forget catnaps – a short (10-20 minute) afternoon nap may be all you need to re-energise!

This information is provided as an educational service and is not intended to serve as medical advice. Anyone seeking specific advice or assistance should consult his or her GP.