If you are one of the millions of people that suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, depression, anxiety or find that you feel down during the colder months of the year then our simple 10 Ways to help beat the Winter Blues may contribute to lessening and possibly alleviate certain symptoms.
Bask in the sun
Spend as much time in sunlight as possible as the lack of natural light is one of the direct causes of SAD as it triggers the production of Serotonin in the brain to help maintain the body’s circadian rhythms. Try working near a window, go on walks or even if medically advised to do so, try using a SAD light to receive a light therapy treatment. Even if the sky is overcast, we still receive enough UV rays to start producing Vitamin D, we just need to stay out for longer periods of time.
Maintaining a healthy diet is important under any circumstances but can be highly beneficial if you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder. Plenty of food rich in proteins and nutrients, especially ones high in Tryptophan will help in Serotonin production. Avoid any foods high in fat, sugar and caffeine as these can contribute towards low feelings and affect your sleeping pattern.
Get to bed
Plenty of restful sleep is essential in recharging and keeping our body clocks going so getting eight hours of uninterrupted sleep will help you feel much better overall.
Regularly staying in contact with family and friends is essential to anyone staying happy whether it simply be a conversation over the phone, social gatherings or just a trip out somewhere.
Relax with a few tunes
Listening to music is shown in numerous studies to affect our mood in a number of ways so put on those that make you feel upbeat and happy, especially those that make you want to get up and dance or even belt out the words at the top of your lungs.
Reading or watching your favourite stories can boost your mood, especially comedy as laughter and the simple act of smiling will easily give your endorphins and serotonin production a kick.
Regular exercise helps to keep us healthy and naturally boots those neurotransmitters that keep energy levels up. Always aim to do an activity that you enjoy for around forty minutes a day at least and if you can make it a social venture, that will help as well.
Having a spring clean early can help improve your mood as you will get rid of things you don’t need that may have been in the back of your mind, plus helps keep you more active. This may also stir up some happy memories as you go, especially if you have a digital tidy-up and sort out those photographs from holidays and events gone by.
Take a break
If you are able, taking a much needed holiday in a sunnier climate can make all the difference to helping beat the winter blues, as the build-up will leave your mind busy with preparation and the trip itself will help you get the sunlight, activity and relaxing break your body may need.
If your body is able to soak up enough sun it can help maintain Vitamin D production for a while after you return home as well.
Discovering new talents and skills can help beat the winter blues as it will take your mind off reasons that could contribute to feeling low, plus you have the feeling of achievement as you progress.
Hopefully one or more of our 10 Ways to help beat the Winter Blues will alleviate your low mood or Seasonal Affective Disorder so you can live a happier and healthier life.