Beat the Winter Blues with these Top Tips
Author: Kaylee Dunbar Date Posted:9 June 2015
We all know what it’s like when the winter months roll around. The weather gets cooler, wetter and then of course it gets darker earlier! Feeling blue during the winter months is unfortunately a common theme for some of us but the good news is that there are ways to help improve our mood to get us through this inevitable season!
Continue your exercise regime It can become difficult to get out of bed for that scheduled morning gym work out- it's cold, pouring rain, the wind is blowing and it is still pitch black outside! All any of us feel like doing is hitting the snooze button! However the moral of the story is exercise helps improve mood, self-esteem and general health and wellbeing so stay active especially in the winter months!
Be social Despite the wet and cold weather it is still important to try your best to still get out and socialise. Even if this requires putting on your rain coat, gumboots and grabbing your umbrella a few times per week to get to a social outing, it will help to keep your spirits up! Research shows that individuals who socialise regularly are generally happier and more positive. So let’s not let the weather get the best of us!
Continue your regular eating patterns When experiencing the winter blues it is quite common to consume bigger portion sizes and comfort foods. We all know these so called ‘comfort foods΄ may not necessarily be the healthiest options but they do help improve our mood temporarily. However the key word here is temporarily. Often comfort foods give us that short lived satisfaction and immediate energy boost; however this is followed by a sudden crash resulting in mood swings and lack of energy.
A useful tip for staying on track during the winter months is to consume foods that have a low glycemic index, are high in protein and are both warming and nourishing such as homemade soups and stews. This will help keep our blood sugar levels balanced, sustain our energy levels, keep us fuller for longer, reduce sugar cravings and of course keep us happy!
Continue regular sleeping patterns It is important to try and sustain your regular sleep patterns during the winter period. Some individuals may sleep more because it gets darker earlier however it is important to refrain from this and stick to your regular sleep schedule. This will reduce the risk of over sleeping which can contribute to feeling groggy and unable to concentrate. On the flip side to this getting too little sleep can impact negatively on our food choices and mental state.
Try to get out in the fresh air When the sun is shining get out and enjoy it! Even if this requires putting on an extra layer of clothes, our body is still able to synthesize vitamin D which is activated by sunlight. Vitamin D has shown to play a role in promoting mood. Approximately one in three Australians has a vitamin D deficiency.
As Australian’s we are really good at Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek & Sliding, but it is also important to remember we do need to spend some time in the sun unprotected. Cancer Council Australia recommends that during the winter month’s individuals who live in southern parts of Australia should try to get between two to three hours of sunlight per week on the face, arms and hands and this should be sufficient to maintain adequate vitamin D levels.
However individuals who live in the northern parts of Australia should be able to maintain adequate levels of vitamin D with their normal day to day activities.
Listen to music Listen to your favourite music when you wake up in the morning and while making your commute to work! Music has shown to promote happiness and reduce stress levels.
Please note: If you are experiencing low mood for a long period of time or if it is interfering with your daily activities you should seek medical attention.