Beating the Winter Blues

Beating the Winter Blues

Dark mornings, dark evenings and chilly grey days mean winter is well and truly here. After having such an incredible summer, it can come as a shock when the “winter blues” really kick in. Our mental health during winter can often be over-looked and we begin to wonder why we feel less energised and motivated to get out of bed each morning. Lack of Vitamin D and serotonin levels are just a couple of reasons for making us not feel our usual selves. The good news is there’s a few things we can do to help keep on track to get through the colder months.


  1. Get outside and get moving
    Being outdoors instantly helps lift our moods. Research has shown that even a 15-minute walk in the middle of the day is enough to increase crucial neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and norepinephrine, which help energise the brain and regulate circadian rhythms. If you get to a beach or go for a walk in nature, that’s a bonus.


  1. Meditate
    Studies have suggestedthat by relaxing the body and mind through stimulating the release of the hormone melatonin, meditation can lead to increased activity in the left prefrontal cortex, a part of the brain associated with happiness, and decreased activity in brain regions linked to stress.


  1. Stick to a regular sleep routine
    As tempting as it is to sleep in during the darker mornings, it’s best to stick to a regular sleep routine. Which means waking up at the same time, every day, even in the weekends. It also helps to go to bed at the same time every night, and if this is something new for you, it’s best to allow 3-4 weeks to get used to it.


  1. Boost serotonin levels with food
    You can boost your serotonin levels through your food choices. Maintaining stable blood sugar levels will help prevent cravings for sugar and simple carbs - both of which will wreak havoc on your serotonin levels. You can also boost your serotonin by eating eggs, nuts, leafy green veggies and oily fish.


  1. Try changing your mindset
    Instead of concentrating on when winter will end, try to turn it around and embrace winter as a time to slow down, enjoy being at home, and spend time inside with friends and family. Cosy up on the couch and read a book or put on that TV show you’ve been wanting to watch. You can also improve your mood by using this time to plan things to look forward to later in the year.