As the weather gets colder and the days get darker some of us start experiencing the “Winter Blues”. The dull, bleak weather and the lack of sunshine often triggers the feeling of melancholy and stress. SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder is usually experienced during Winter, causing us to feel irritable, tired and depressed. If you feel like you find it particularly tough to function during winter months have a look at our tips below on how to overcome SAD and improve your mood:
Exercising is not only a great way to stay fit but it is also very beneficial for your mental wellbeing. Exercise produces chemicals in your brain called endorphins that help you stay relaxed and combat low mood. To improve your SAD symptoms try going for a brisk walk, join the gym or take a yoga class. Regularly staying active will help you reduce your stress levels and will do wonders for your mental health.
Improve your diet
It is common for people who suffer from SAD to crave sugary treats and carbs as they give us a quick energy boost and the feeling of satisfaction. However, in the long run these foods should be avoided as they eventually lead to the decrease of blood sugar levels which makes you crave them even more. This cycle creates a pattern of unhealthy eating that puts you at risk of putting on weight and developing diabetes. Instead, try and consume foods rich with protein, Omega-3s and Vitamin D. These nutrients will have a positive impact on your health and your mood.
The lack of daylight at this time of the year is one of the main reasons as to why so many of us experience the winter depression. Light therapy is often used to combat SAD and there are many ways you can get that light exposure you need. Go for a walk on a nice day and try to spend as much time as you can outdoors. If this fails, invest in the lightbox which has been specifically designed for SAD sufferers. Sitting in front of the light box for 30 minutes a day can help restart your circadian rhythms, reducing excessive fatigue and depression.
Keep yourself busy
Busy people are happy people! When you are busy you have no time to be bored and mope at home about how unhappy you are or how bad the weather is outside. The key is not to get yourself so busy to the point where you are stressed out, but to find that perfect balance between staying busy and taking time to relax. Do things that make you happy, plan exciting weekends away or basically anything that can lift your spirits!
Set your body clock up right
Getting into a regular sleep routine helps regulate your circadian rhythm. Get to sleep before 11pm every night and stay away from caffeinated drinks after 5pm. Avoid bright lights such as mobile phone screens and instead read a few pages of a book before going to sleep. The white light from phone screens prevents melatonin production for up to four hours which can seriously affect your sleep quality and thus affecting your mood the next day.
Here they are, our 5 tips on how to overcome SAD and improve your mood this Winter! Winter Blues can easily affect any of us. It is important to recognise the problem early on and learn how you can help yourself from feeling low and depressed. Our #woofmovement is all about being self-confident, happy and active in your day to day lives. Don't let anything hold you back!