With the festive season unfortunately over, the January blues can make some peoples mood fall faster than the thermometer. But what is it about the darkening days that can leave so many of us feeling down in the dumps?
The Differences between S.A.D. and the Winter Blues
For those suffering with the winter blues, they’re most likely to be experiencing a low mood which can lead to feeling less social. However, when these symptoms are more severe – such as isolating yourself, or feeling hopeless about the future – it could be Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.). Gaining weight, feeling exhausted and struggling in social situations are all signs that there could be something causing this low mood.
Psychologist Andrew Bridgewater spoke to Insulation Express about his experience of patients that suffer with S.A.D and claimed that “20% of the patients he sees suffer with S.A.D each year.” He said that; ‘Anyone can experience SAD, especially if they find themselves under sustained stress or experience a very challenging life event at that time of year.’
5 Ways You Can Achieve Wellness in the Winter
However, it’s not all doom and gloom. Insulation Express have shed light on five ways you can easily overcome the winter blues.
1. Exercise moderately
- Achieving 150 mins of cardio a week has been proven to improve symptoms of mild to moderate depression.
- It’s also achievable: If you divide the 150 minutes into five days, you only need to work out for 30 mins a day.
- You could even do this on your lunch-time.
2) Grab some natural sunlight
Exposure to sunlight increases the brain’s release of the hormone serotonin, which is associated with boosting mood.
Low levels of serotonin are associated with a higher risk of low mood and seasonal affective disorder (S.A.D.)
But by getting just 10 mins of sunlight on your face, three times a week, you can reap the vitamin D benefits of sunlight.
3) Eat foods rich in vitamin D
You can also boost your vitamin D intake even further, by eating foods rich in this nutrient.
It can be found in oily fish, such as salmon, tuna or mackerel.
If you’re vegetarian, you can also find vitamin D in egg yolks, mushroom, orange juice and oatmeal.
4) Get a good night’s sleep
Everyone knows that a bad night’s sleep can leave you lacking energy and put you in a low mood.
The best way to overcome this is by developing a sleep routine. Try going to sleep and waking up at the same time each day.
If you’re struggling to sleep, don’t lie awake watching the clock. Read a book as this will help you drift off.
Mindfulness practices have been proven to help those who suffer from a low mood.
Start small by sitting still for two minutes. Then gradually build up the time day by day or week by week.
Also, don’t worry about clearing the mind – this can be hard
Instead just try to practice focusing on your attention, and then practice some more when your mind wanders.