It’s inevitable, Winter is coming. The days are getting shorter, the nights (and days) are getting colder, the rain is coming down, and last week I spotted tubs of Celebrations in Tesco. Whilst Winter brings with it a lot of happy things (Pumpkin Spice Lattes, blanket scarves and CHRISTMAS, to name but a few), it can also bring a lot of gloom too. It’s estimated that more than 10% of the population experience SAD, whilst up to sixty percent of us get some form of winter blues, so in the spirit of keeping everyone happy, here are my top tips for beating SAD.
- Get up when the sun gets up. If your schedule permits of course. Our bodies use light queues to function, and not getting the right light can really mess with your internal clock. Get up just after dawn, get your curtains open, and allow your body to find a natural routine.
- Take the right supplements. The vast majority of the population would benefit from taking Vitamin D in the winter months, to help counteract the effects of less sunlight, but there are other supplements that could help you keep your summer perk too. Take Vitamin C to help fight the winter sniffles and Magnesium to ease anxiety!
- Invest in a SAD Lamp. It doesn’t have to be a fancy alarm clock one, I have one that’s just a little desk lamp and I keep it switched on whilst I work. SAD lamps emulate the sun’s wavelengths, and just 30 minutes exposure to a SAD lamp a day can drastically increase your serotonin production.
- Eat small, regular, balanced meals. Seasonal Affective Disorder has a nasty habit of making you crave bad carbohydrates, and fatty foods. By making sure your body is receiving small and healthy meals at regular intervals throughout the day, you can help keep your mood level, and stop any cravings!
- Eat more green veg. Nobody enjoys eating green veg, especially when all you’re craving is a Bargain Bucket and bag of Doritos, but green veg is PACKED full of delicious nutrients that your body craves. Eating more of them does wonders for your mood, metabolism, skin, energy levels, pretty much everything you can think of.
- Make plans and keep plans. When it’s already dark as you leave work, it can be so easy to just go home and snuggle up with Netflix. It’s easy to forget that there are just as many hours in a day in Winter as there are in Summer, and not make plans, but having things to look forward to throughout the week, even if it’s just a coffee date with a friend, can make a massive difference.
- Look good, feel good. I’m terrible for spotting grey skies and immediately pulling on old leggings and a cosy jumper, but taking time over your appearance, whether it’s wearing a new dress or busting out your favourite red lip can boost your mood to no end.
- Go outside anyway. Even if it’s dark and rainy, put on a thick coat, and go get some fresh air. Find a route near your house that you can walk in twenty minutes, and pledge to walk it every day, whether that means setting your alarm twenty minutes early, or a post-dinner walk.