Get Ready to Beat the Winter Blues
It feels like summer has only just ended and we’re already reaching for the winter coat and wellington boots. The days will soon be getting shorter and cold weather is on the way. With the cold weather can come the winter blues. Although there’s no clinical diagnosis for this condition, experts at the National Institutes of Health say that it’s common for people to feeling low, sad, or less energised.
Because the winter blues isn’t a recognised medical condition, it’s difficult to know how many people experience seasonal mood changes. A more severe condition that is classed as a medical disorder is seasonal affective disorder (SAD). This is a recurrent form of depression, characterised by feelings of hopelessness and despair, fatigue, problems sleeping and concentrating, and changes in appetite. Although the winter blues is a mild version of this, it shouldn’t be ignored. So, as we move into the colder months why not try these strategies to try and lift your mood?
By exercising you can lift your mood and release those all-important endorphins. You can do this at home, in the gym or even on the way to work. Make small changes like taking the stairs instead of the lift and parking a little further away than you normally would.
Get enough sleep
Lack of sleep will only make the problem worse, so make sure you get into a good routine at night and go to bed earlier to ensure you’re getting enough sleep. If you struggle to get to sleep, make sure you make your bedroom a ‘no-screen zone’ as the blue backlight on mobile phones and tablets can stimulate the brain when you should be shutting down. If you do want to use a screen, use a kindle. Ideally you should aim for at least 7 hours of sleep.
Laughter stimulates processes in your brain that have been proven to counteract feeling low. Although you may not feel like it, it will help! Stick on a great comedy or even reading can lift your mood.
Eat and drink well
Homemade hot chocolate using nondutched, natural cocoa powder contains mood-boosting flavonoids. It not only tastes great, but a warm drink may even help you to sleep. Make it with fortified milk, which provides a combination of carbohydrate, protein, and vitamin D — the combination helps increase serotonin levels, which help us relax
Fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, especially salmon, lake trout, sardines, or albacore tuna. Eaten three to five times a week, it can help boost your mood. In addition, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables and least one egg a day with the yolk will help to regulate nerve function and metabolism among other functions, and keep energy levels stable. Ditch the refined sugar, caffeine, alcohol and processed carbohydrates such as white bread and cakes.
Do something you love
Balance the hard work with little things that bring you pleasure, like walking your dog, going to a sports match, socialising with friends and shopping – but don’t spend money you don’t have, or it could have a negative effect.
Have something to look forward to
Having something to look forward to such as a trip or holiday can give you a lift. If you don’t have the budget or time off of work to take a trip then plan a treat such as a spa day, afternoon tea or trying out a new restaurant.
A decrease in sunlight can disrupt your body’s circadian rhythms, and cause a drop in serotonin levels and Vitamin D levels, which can lead to depressive symptoms. There is a solution by way of a SAD lamp – these are readily available from major retailers such as Amazon and Argos. Try and get outdoors during the day especially if there is some winter sun, as the extra light can help to regulate your body’s circadian rhythms release natural hormones that will help you to feel energized during the day and sleep at night.
Clyde Property is a leading independent, multiple award-winning estate agent with over 30 years’ experience in selling and letting property in Scotland. Just call your local Clyde Property branch today, for friendly, impartial advice on letting and renting property.