6 tips to avoid the winter blues
By Siobhan Teape
Everyone at some point has experienced that feeling of coming home from work around 5ish, it being dark outside, the weather feeling well grim, dishes are piled high and you’ve still got to cook dinner and meal prep for the next day. And let’s be honest, when you finally do get a chance to sit down, you feel a bit grumpy and ordering pizza sounds like a good shout.
Like lots of people have at some point in their lives, including myself, you could be suffering from the winter blues! With the days being shorter and darker, your can sometimes feel low or deflated. Seasonal sadness is actually pretty common, affecting around 2 million people in the UK. If this sounds familiar, I’m here to tell you, it’s time to shake those blues away and spring into action!
Here are my top 6 tips to get spring ready and swerve those winter blues.
Go ‘sun searching’
There’s a direct link between bright light exposure and our serotonin levels (the body’s feel good hormone). It has been proven that exposure to around 15-20 minutes of natural light a day, even when the sun isn’t out, can almost instantly make you feel happier and more energetic! Lunch time winter walks are refreshing and a perfect way to catch the sun at it’s highest.
Brooding under the duvet cover can easily become our default coping mechanism when feeling under the weather but research shows that getting active can improve the symptoms of any depression. Join a spin or a yoga class, or go for a run in your local park, it’s free! (Plus you can get your daily quota of sun kisses, win, win!)
Eat better, feel good
I love pizza…However, whether or not it loves me is debatable. The food that we put into our bodies can really have an effect on how we feel. Science suggests that following a balanced diet can have a positive effect on our mental health. Eating regularly throughout the day, drinking more water, avoiding refined sugars, including more fruit and veg, and at least one protein with each meal, are all healthy habits we can practice to help improve our mood.
Get a ‘you’ space
Studies reveal that mess around the home can play a part in feelings of unhappiness, unproductivity and unsociability. It’s not always easy to control clutter around the home, particularly if you share one with others. So here’s the perfect remedy… find a ‘you’ space. Make it clutter-free and pleasant to your eye. Whether it’s your kitchen, garden, or even your bedroom, it doesn’t matter, as long as its yours. Something as little as making sure your bed is made in the morning can bring about positive feelings of accomplishment and satisfaction! #Winning
Be nice to yourself!
Are you being nice to yourself? This might sound like an odd question, but according to science, the answer could be no. It is said that we produce up to 50,000 thoughts daily and between 70-80% of this mind chatter is negative, which can add to the winter blues. But don’t let this get you down, we can change our thinking! What are you telling yourself through out the day? Are you saying nice and uplifting things? Or are you being self-critical and pessimistic? What thought patterns are you practising? Give yourself positive affirmations daily. You are beautiful, you are strong, and you can do anything! Practise positivity.
Give yourself a break
Sometimes we have to give our brains a break. Recent studies have shown that people who struggle to put their phones down could potentially be damaging the functioning of their brain, causing chemical imbalances, severe anxiety and tiredness. How much time do you spend apart from you phone? Give yourself 20 minutes phone free time. Do something you love, whether that’s journaling, enjoying a bubble bath, meditating or having a laugh with a friend. These are all mood boosting activities. Your brain will thank you for it. Remember, just as our phones need to recharge, so do our minds.
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