How to Beat the Winter Blues
It seems like one minute, we were soaking up rays by the pool in what we hoped would be an endless summer, and the next minute, it’s getting dark outside at 4pm and everyones got the sniffles.
If you’re anything like the people I’ve been speaking to lately, the transition into winter can be tough. Winter blues, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and autumn anxiety seem to be creeping in. If you’re susceptible, here are some tips for seeing it off.
Vitamin D supplement
Although more research is needed, vitamin D supplementation was found in one study to reduce symptoms of depression to the same extent as an antidepressant. Almost ALL of us in the UK are deficient in vitamin D in the winter time because we make most of our vitamin D from sunlight, and we don’t get enough at this time of year (need we be reminded). A supplement is recommended for everyone by the NHS, and especially if you suffer from the winter blues.
You know it needs to happen! And..you know that it makes you feel better. Even walking counts. For best results, try and do some exercise outside, in natural light, for the best mood-boosting benefits.
Let there be light
Consider using a SAD lamp – check out this article for a list of 10 of the best.
Talk to someone
Bottling things up? Perhaps you don’t want to ‘burden’ family and friends. Maybe you feel like you need to be the ‘strong’ one for others and so you keep how you’re feeling to yourself. But studies have shown that when we put our feelings into words, it reduces our stress levels. Let your friend or partner know that you don’t expect them to ‘fix’ you, but that you just need a friendly ear. It will take the pressure off them while letting them know how they can help.
A low mood calls for…ramping up the self care! And don’t you be giving yourself a hard time either. You feel how you feel, and you’re doing your best. Light a candle, curl up, do some yoga stretches (I love the Yin Yoga app), take a nap, watch re-runs of Gossip Girl…whatever floats your boat.
Thoughts aren’t facts
Question the negative mental chatter. Ask yourself, ‘Is that really true? Can I absolutely know that it’s true?’ When you question thoughts, you realise they’re not ‘facts’ after all.
We all know it feels good but did you know that massage actually raises your serotonin levels? If you can’t afford a professional one right now, give yourself a massage. You could try a hand or foot massage, but I friggin’ love a facial massage. There is seriously nothing more relaxing! Get some oil (Jojoba is my favourite but you could use olive olive, almond oil or coconut oil) and add a few drops of essential like lavender – which is a great stress buster. I love this video by Lisa Eldridge on how to do a facial muscle at home. Fellas, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!
What tips do you have for beating the winter blues? Let’s get a collection of ideas going in the comments!