The winter months are seen by many people to be cold, dark and depressing. When you leave the house to go to work in the dark and then it is dark when you finish work too, it can feel like there are not too many things to feel cheery about. The train commute can feel like a gloomy torture, surrounded by coughing and sneezing passengers. So if you are feeling a bit down about the struggles of winter, try and make some changes that will give you a timely boost.
Exercise – Okay so not everyone wants to go outside for a run when it is cold and dark but keeping up with an exercise routine is important for your wellbeing. As well as making you feel happy through the release of endorphins, it will help you to avoid putting on weight, which can be a trigger for many people feeling low.
Also, if you exercise with a group of friends, you get a boost from the social side of doing it as well as all of the fitness benefits. Try to pick a form of exercise that you really enjoy doing, rather than forcing yourself to do something you find a chore, as you are more likely to persist with it. Also, it helps to arrange to meet up with someone or book a class to give you that added motivation for not giving it a miss.
Drink coffee – Did you know that coffee has all kinds of great health benefits? If you can get up in the morning and set yourself up for the day with a cup of premium coffee then you will have an energy boost to set the pace for your day. Treat yourself to some high quality coffee like Jamaican coffee. Whether you are getting up to start work, you want to have a more productive day or even need help squeezing in some adventures whilst travelling, coffee gives you that energy boost to get things done.
There are some less positive effects of drinking coffee to be aware of, particularly if you are having high calorie creams and sugars in each cup. So drink your coffee responsibly!
Sleep well – You need to get enough sleep to make sure that your body is given enough time to recharge overnight. Having a regular pattern of sleep is pivotal in getting all of the hours sleep that you need. Try to avoid playing with your phone before you go to sleep, as research shows that the increased amount of smartphone usage is impacting people’s ability to get a good night’s sleep.
Speak to people if you need help – If you start to feel depressed, don’t bottle everything up. Looking after your mental health is just as important as your physical health. You may want to speak to a friend, or your GP to get some help to get you feeling better.
Have a good diet – There are lots of things we consume that can make us feel low. Alcohol is particularly well known for causing depression, so try to avoid drinking at times when you are feeling a bit down. Fatty foods can also make you feel lethargic and processed foods are very high in fat, sugar and salt. Try to eat more fruit and vegetables and drink plenty of water throughout winter. Water hydrates your skin so will help you to combat the cold air and give your skin more of a glow. Eat a balanced diet filled with foods that have protein, minerals and vitamins like beans, fish, meat, eggs and other proteins.