Around 50% of the adult population find that, the onset of winter gets them down. The nights are drawing in and there’s a nip in the air, one in four of us will succumb to the winter blues or full-blown Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Here are some tips that can help get you through the winter months smiling.
Don’t Fight The Winter
As the temperature and levels of light drop, it is normal to feel a bit low in mood. We do need this climatic downtime, accept winter as an essential part of the year, which allows you to slow down, reflect and reconnect with what’s important.
Be Prepared For Winter
Kit yourself out for winter, properly insulate yourself with thermals, invest in a pair of sturdy wellies or snow boots and a good waterproof jacket to keep out the rain.
Get The Right Tools For Winter
Don’t let the first frost catch you scratching your windscreen with a credit card! Invest in an ice scraper or a night ‘car cap’ that can be taken off in the morning. Tired of using a feeble umbrella? Why not buy an award-winning ‘Senz’, a storm proof umbrella that can see off 70 mph, and also boasts an innovative shape to keep bottoms dry.
Protect Your Hands
Prevent painful chapped-skin by slathering on non-greasy hand cream, each time after washing your hands. Fingers need to be kept warm when temperatures plummet. Leather is naturally water-repellent and keeps hands warmer than man-made fabrics and knitted gloves. Look for soft Nappa leather to maintain dexterity and long cuffs to keep draughts out.
Don’t Hibernate This Winter
A reluctance to socialize is one of the consequences of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). As humans we are not programmed to hibernate like Hedgehogs, isolating yourself or hibernating will worsen a low mood.
Try not to sleep in, this can disrupt your body clock and trigger headaches, by staying in bed you will be missing out on precious winter daylight. We are programmed to sleep more in the winter so as to recharge our batteries. Try and get up at your usual time each day, but get more sleep by going to bed earlier.
Fitness In Winter
Try and embrace winter and keep yourself active and healthy, try a ‘Sno’ fit workout featuring snow board and ski moves. Why not take up Zumba, a Latin inspired, dance base workout. People who take part in Zumba swear it combats a low mood.
Wake Up Smiling
Try using a dawn simulator that floods your room with ‘daylight’. Studies have shown it boosts the body’s internal body clock, meaning you will wake up feeling alert. Why not try a session in a real Sunlight Simulator Spa, clever lighting replicates full spectrum sunlight, with the harmful UV rays filtered out and infrared heat. It claims to help beat SAD, reduce stress and boost energy and immunity.
Train Your Brain
Learn to think positively, by thinking hopeless, despairing thoughts; such as “I hate winter” your brain creates equally depressing chemicals. Break this cycle by focusing on good things, the train being on time, the traffic lights staying green. Positive thoughts help release a surge of positive hormones.
Look Good And Feel Better This Winter
Just because the sun has gone in, don’t abandon your good grooming habits. Regular moisturising, waxing and pedicures, although hidden underneath opaque and woollies, will keep you feeling good.
Eat Yourself Happy
Many of us become deficient of vitamins during the winter. Slice an avocado in your lunchtime sandwich and wash it down with a glass of milk, both are good sources of vitamin D, oily fish and eggs are also great sources. Try not to lapse on your five a day, winter fruits and vegetables are delicious, cram as many of them into soups, casseroles and porridge, this will help your body and your mind.
Keep It In Perspective
Tell yourself often that this will pass, by Christmas the days are already beginning to get longer. Get yourself some holiday brochures and start dreaming. For further advice on winter blues or SAD contact your doctor or log on to: sada.org.uk