Do you know any ways to beat the winter blues? For most people, the answer is probably no, but it’s time that changed! Medical research suggests that the urge to hibernate in the winter is real, and these colder months can have a big impact on your mood and general health. Need a boost? There’s plenty of natural ways to beat the winter blues, and make yourself feel happier – and most don’t cost anything, either.
One of the easiest and most effective ways to beat the winter blues is to reset your circadian rhythm. In real terms? Heal your body from those festive late nights and New Year lie-ins by resetting your body clock. Aim to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day, regardless of the weekend. You’ll soon retrain your body to work on winter-time, too!
During the winter, it’s much harder to keep your Vitamin D levels topped up. I mean, I can barely remember when I last saw the sun! As well as impacting your mood, Vitamin D is responsible for strengthening the teeth and bones, and regulating calcium levels. Get out for a winter walk whenever you can, but supplement your levels by consuming plenty of eggs, oily fish and fortified cereals. Salmon is an excellent source!
This is one I’m really keen to try. Meditation isn’t a new craze, but it certainly seems to have an army of people who swear by it. You can do it in as little as ten minutes a day, and it’ll calm you and clear your mind. I’ve been told to sit in a quiet place, dim the lights and close your eyes. Repeat a two-syllable sound to yourself slowly, letting your other thoughts float away. Once your ten minutes are up, slowly open your eyes and allow yourself to come back down gradually. Repeat once or twice a day for a much-improved mood.
Socializing is very good for your mood, as it gives you an almost instant confidence boost – but networking is even better. Dig out the details for a networking group near you, and go. Meeting with like-minded people is sure to give you a spark, help you generate ideas and inspire you. Can’t find a group? Set one up. Coffee houses are usually happy venues due to the extra trade, and if everybody brings one person, you’ll have a group in no time.
Some foods are just perfect for boosting your mood – and I don’t mean cake or chocolate! Look for foods that contain naturally mood-boosting nutrients, and try to include some in your diet every day. Sunflower seeds are ideal as they contain folic acid and magnesium, and omega-3 and uridine (both are found in walnuts) is a combination that’s highly rated too. Even a banana has potassium and iron, which gives an energy boost.
We all know about blood sugar levels, but did you know that controlling them is vital to fighting off the winter blues? Feeling grouchy, tired and low when your glucose levels crash is totally normal, but should be avoided at all costs. Try to stick to regular, balanced meals during the day, with well-placed snacks to avoid getting hungry. Low-GI foods release glucose slower, so they are a great choice – fruits, vegetables, salads, beans, nuts and sweet potatoes are all low GI and tasty.
If you can afford a holiday, get one booked. Relaxation and sunlight is exactly what your body needs! If you can’t, start browsing the best-sellers list. Reading is a great form of escapism, and it can be free if you use a local library or swap books with friends. There’s even big book clubs spread around the world, so you can chat to others reading the same books.
Exercising is a foolproof way to release feel-good hormones into your body, but there’s nothing harder than pushing yourself to get started. Pick a time that you are definitely free, and avoid the early mornings if you can! Then, try to team up with a friend. You’ll be less likely to give up, as you won’t want to let anyone down, and you’ll feel the benefits all day.
Give some of these a try, and I guarantee you’ll have some new favorite ways to beat the winter blues! And if they just aren’t shifting, contact your doctor. Sometimes, medications or therapy are just what you need to get yourself feeling great again. Have you got a great way to beat the winter blues? Let me know!