Winter is well and truly here, and with the colder temperatures, can come with what we like to call the Winter Blues (and in some extreme cases, Seasonal Affective Disorder aka SAD). If you are struggling to wake up in the morning or if you’re feeling a little bit more lethargic than normal you are not alone. This ontop of COVID-19, we are all feeling it right now. These 5 tips can help make your life a little bit brighter during Winter.
Get outside: One of the most effective ways to beat the Winter blues, according to research is to simply to get outside and go for a walk. Studies have shown that as little as a 15-minute walk a day is enough to help increase crucial neurotransmitters, which help to stimulate your brain and also regulate your circadian rhythm. Even though it can be a little chilly, the cold air can help improve focus and increase your mood.
Brighten your environment: Research has shown that Seasonal Affective Disorder is due to shorter winter days with shorter natural light. By opening up blinds, sitting closer to windows and even to go as far as trimming back some trees, can help you get that little bit of sunshine.
Eat smarter: There is no denying it, food impacts your mental health. Many studies have shown that what you eat, can directly influence your overall wellbeing and happiness. Which means, during Winter, it is more important than ever to ensure you are getting the right nutrients and vitamins from seasonal produce. Think slow cooked meals & warm soups, which are not only great for digestion but are also a great way to prep in the morning, and come home to a delicious meal. Check out these two great slow-cooked meals here – Winter Warming Chicken Soup & Slow Cooker Rice Pudding.
Meditate: Studies have shown that by relaxing the body and mind, you stimulate the release of melatonin. Research has also shown that meditation can lead to the increased activity to the part of the brain associated with happiness, which can help boost your mood during those cold rainy Winter Days. Sceptical or don’t know where to start? Try a 5-10 minute guided meditation or research breathing exercises, start small and try to get into a daily habit. If meditation isn’t for you, take time to do a 5 minute stretch in the morning.
Sleep Hygiene: Ensuring you get an adequate night’s sleep is essential for your overall mental health and wellbeing. Look at trying to reduce the amount of screen time before bed, pop your phone on “do not disturb” to avoid distraction, or speak to your doctor about taking a natural melatonin. Going to bed a little earlier will allow you to wake up a little earlier, which will give you time to do things like meditation, do a morning stretch, or prep a beautiful slow-cooked meal in your slow cooker before you start your day.