Winter is still here, and with it comes the cold, less sunlight, more layers and for many of us an overwhelming urge to hibernate with a hefty dose of comfort food. The winter months can be even more stressful than usual, with dreary days and cold weather just making everything seem a bit less bearable. The good news is that there are plenty of things we can all do to feel a little better over winter. Here are our top tips!
Take a vitamin D supplement
We get 90% of our vitamin D from sunlight, so during the winter months we all suffer. Vitamin D can affect as many as two thousand genes in the body; we need it to help us absorb calcium, and to help us resist certain diseases. In fact, some studies have shown that vitamin D can play a part in regulating our mood and keeping depression at bay. Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency include general tiredness, aches and pains and a general sense of just not feeling well. Does that sound familiar?
Get outside whenever you can
A little exercise can improve your mood and general fitness. A quick walk around the local park at lunch time will do; a longer walk on the weekend will really blow those cobwebs away. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you could try outdoor swimming. Some studies have shown that an exhilarating plunge into freezing cold water can actually be more beneficial to lifting our mood than an antidepressant.
Avoid going into hibernation mode
It can be really tempting to come home from work and slump onto the sofa and to spend the weekend wrapped in a blanket. It feels nice for the first couple of hours but in reality it will do you more harm than good. The more we move, the better we’ll feel. If you really can’t face the weather outside, find things to do inside, whether that’s sorting through a cupboard or playing hide and seek with the children.
Use bright colours
This sounds really silly, but just give it a try and see for yourself. We can trick our minds into thinking it’s still bright and warm outside by using bright colours.