Batten down the hatches, winter is here! The temperatures are plummeting and so too are our spirits. With dull days and dark nights descending upon us many of us become victim to the winter blues. Indeed, even those with the cheeriest of dispositions can find themselves feeling listless at this time of year. Whilst we know the ideal solution would be to hunker down until spring arrives the reality is that most of us still have to do ‘life’ (sigh).Whilst there are varying degrees of winter blues, some are so severe that they become disabling, most of us would benefit by implementing small habits into our daily schedules. Here’s our top tips for giving the winter blues the boot and getting your spring back until the spring arrives!
Our bodies thrive of routine and in winter it’s even more important to stick to a sleep schedule to banish those winter blues. This means going to bed and getting up at the same time. Unfortunately, this rule even applies to the weekend. So as inviting as it might be to stay hidden under the covers for an extra few hours, you should resist the temptation. However, it’s not all bad news! In winter your body and mind may benefit from an extra hour or more of daily sleep. Therefore, if you normally have 6 or 7 hours of sleep in the sunnier months then try hitting the sack for 8 or more hours.
The reason why we experience the winter blues is often related to the reduction of light levels.This effects the production of melatonin which effects how sleepy we feel.Therefore, the way to counteract this is by getting as much light as possible. Ideally you should try to get your light 'au natural' by getting outdoors when you can. However, sometimes this isn’t always possible and not always sufficient. This is the UK after all! Therefore, it might be wise to invest in a light box which mimics natural light. Some people find that light therapy is the best way to combat the winter blues if implemented on a daily basis.
When trying to kick the winter blues another weapon in your armor should be exercise. Whether it’s pounding the pavement listening to your favourite tunes or hitting the weights, any exercise that gets the blood pumping can help to release endorphins. Indeed, endorphins are the feel-good hormones that put a smile on your face and exercise is a great way to boost them. Whilst it’s extra hard to motivate yourself in winter, we promise you the payoff is worth it.
Our last key piece of advise it to look after yourself like you would somebody that you really care about. All too many of us pile pressure on ourselves in a way we wouldn’t expect of other people. If you’re having a day were the winter blues won’t shift and even making a cup of tea feels like an accomplishment then just roll with it. Don’t beat yourself up, world domination can come tomorrow! Instead, throw on your comfy clothes and chill out doing whatever fills your soul with joy.