Friday, 31 January 2014

Five Ways to Tackle the Winter Blues

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When the nights draw in and the colder weather arrives, it is all too easy to think that feeling down is just an imaginary reaction. In fact, many people in the UK suffer from a very real problem known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which can in some cases lead to quite serious depression.

"The winter blues" start towards the end of the year. When short, dark days start to get you down, it can actually be due to physical reactions to the changing conditions as well as psychological feelings.

If you suffer from the winter blues, here are five ways to put them in their place.

1. More light

There is sound scientific evidence to support the idea that the season can affect our moods as the body responds to daylight in different ways. Lack of daylight is known to affect the way we produce vitamin D in our bodies and the effects of changing time zones and confusing the body clock are well-known as well.

The winter blues might be made worse by a lack of daylight and this can be remedied by getting out and about and using full spectrum 'natural light' bulbs for indoor illumination.

2. Diet

Eating well during the winter can be difficult in colder climates as the classic 'Mediterranean diet' of salads and fruit doesn't really set you up for wind, rain and snow.

Whilst you might crave sugary foods and carbohydrates such as chocolate, pasta and bread, it is important to keep a healthy balance to your overall diet as this can have a marked effect on your mood.

3. Activity

Keeping active might not be quite as appealing when the temperature drops and conditions deteriorate, but making sure you get enough exercise has great positive benefits for the mind as well as the body.

Activity is believed to change the levels of the mood-regulating chemical serotonin in the brain and getting out in the fresh air always has an invigorating and life-affirming effect.

4. Medical help

Sometimes depression is more acute and a few lifestyle changes will not be capable of rectifying the situation. In these cases, seeking medical help is the best answer.

If things really do get too much, you may want to call a counselling helpline for immediate help. benenden health’s helpline is open to members 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and is able to provide callers with access to the ear of a professional counsellor to discuss any issues that may be causing stress.

5. A little of what you fancy

For many of us, the winter blues are really nothing more than feeling a bit sorry for ourselves now and again. In this case, simply giving yourself a bit of a treat or self-pampering can work wonders so why not do something you enjoy? You’re sure to feel better for it.

How do you beat the winter blues?

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21 comments:

  1. Great post, I think people really do underestimate how much the weather can affect you! Fab tips here lovely :)

    Jess xo

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  2. It's so hard in winter...getting enough sun light is essential.

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  3. So true - I like number 5 the best. There's nothing like a hot bath & a curl up on the sofa with a hot drink to pamper yourself on a cold winter's evening :)

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    1. No.5 is most definitely one if my favourite things to do x

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  4. I can totally identify with this Rachel. I try to get to the gym regularly - hard as it is in the cold and dark it does help and eating well too - lots of fruit and vege and salad even though I want a big juicy scone! xx

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    1. I just want soups when the weather is cold, dark and horrid x

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  5. I find that activity really has a huge impact. I also like to curl up on the couch with some tea and music and knit (although I'm only a beginner).
    Thanks for the post ♥

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  6. Great tips, I don't think I have had winter blues yet! x

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  7. Lovely tips- especially number 5.

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  8. I definitely get the winter blues, Looking forward to spring! Great post as usual lovely! :) x

    Love, Life, and Makeup Blog/Twitter/Pinterest/Instagram

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  9. I'm so not liking the darkness that comes with winter, so I burn lot of candles that time of the year x

    Laura
    Pink Frenzy

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  10. I hate the winter blues and suffer with them a lot - I shall have to try and remember these tips thank you. x

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