As the air turns frosty and the gloomy weather descends, it’s not surprising if your mood starts to sour. But if you’re feeling a little down this winter, try following these simple tips and you’ll soon feel much more alive!
1) Eat Well
You are what you eat, and while it may be tempting to stick to ready-meals and takeaways, you aren’t doing your body any favours.
Sugary foods will give you an instant energy fix, but your energy levels will soon drop and you’ll be left feeling drained. Instead, stick to healthy carbohydrates that will give you a long lasting source of energy. One of the best ways to start your day is with a warm bowl of porridge, which will keep you going all the way to lunch.
At the end of a long day it’s understandable that you don’t want to start cooking, but by preparing batches of food in advance, you’ll always have something nutritious in reserve. Always aim to consume five portions of fruit and veg a day, with a range of different colours on your plate.
2) Reduce Stress
The holidays can often be a time of stress, but sometimes it’s good to step back and take a deep breath. Don’t put a financial strain on yourself by buying lots of expensive presents. Instead try to source some cheaper alternatives or buy everyone one thing that they’ll really appreciate. Christmas is a time to be with your family and have fun, so don’t let money worries get in the way.
3) Get Some Sun
Lounging around on your sofa watching TV and drinking hot chocolate may seem like the perfect way to spend the day, but staying inside is a recipe for the blues. The weather may be chilly or stormy, but put on your raincoat and head outside. Many people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) in the winter, so try to get as much sun as you can. However, if your winter blues are more severe, then consider purchasing a specialist light therapy box. These units imitate the effect of natural light and can help to alleviate any SAD symptoms.
If you’re lucky enough to have some spare time on your hands, then try volunteering and you may be surprised at the result. Whether you volunteer at a school or a soup kitchen, you’re sure to meet lots of great people and learn some new things. The social interactions are sure to cheer you up and you’ll know that your time was well spent.
5) Keep Active
No matter how sluggish you may be feeling, it’s important to keep active. Get ahead of the crowd by buying a gym membership in December or simply sign up for a few fitness classes. Exercise is never appealing at the time, but it stimulates your body to release happy chemicals like serotonin which boosts your mood. Exercise also strengthens your immune system, but if you do catch that inevitable bug it’s not the end of the world. Simply head to the doctor’s to get some flu anti-virals on prescription.
Whatever exercise you choose to do, the important thing is to stick at it. Why not call up a friend and bond over sit-ups?
What works for one person, won’t always work for another, so try to be aware of what can lift your winter blues. Whether it’s planning a film night with friends, heading out to a restaurant or simply popping to the shops, there is always something that’s sure to make you smile.
What are your favourite ways to beat the blues?
Gavin Harvey is a personal trainer with a passion for travel. When he’s not busy jetting off into the sun, Gavin likes to watch classic movies with his partner and their two cats. He recommends Dr Fox for all of your pharmaceutical needs.