It’s safe to say this past winter has felt incredibly long. It creeps up on us early November and before we know it we’ve all been hibernating for the past 4 months. If you’re anything like me the benefits of those chilly, dark nights may be cosy evenings in. However it’s not easy to avoid the winter blues that often go hand in hand, and even harder to shake them off.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a form of depression characterised by its tendency to cause anxiety and depression at certain times of the year. This is especially prevalent during the long winter months when we have low exposure to natural sunlight. Whilst we don’t all suffer from SAD the short days and freezing temperatures we’ve endured can take a toll on our mental and physical wellbeing.
It’s typical to feel a sense of lethargy, lose interest in everyday projects and worryingly neglect physical activity. But now spring is finally on our doorstep here are four areas we can adapt in our lifestyles to give us that all important boost of energy perfect for the coming months.
You are what you eat, or so the saying goes. If there’s a healthy eating regime or a diet you’ve been meaning to put into action there’s no better time than the present. To lose the sluggish feeling that winter brings, lose the junk and the sugar first and focus on finding a balanced meal plan that makes you feel better.
Catch Some Sun
Now the days are getting longer and we are seeing glimpses of our long forgotten friend the sun, there’s no excuse not to get out and about. Just a brief spell in the sun (even when it’s still cold) helps our bodies produce vitamin D and releases endorphins. If long hours at the office still steal you away from day lit hours grab lunch and eat it outside with a colleague.
January might seem like the best opportunity to make get-fit resolutions for the coming year but it’s often difficult to put things into action. Take the time to introduce more physical activity into your everyday routine. On your commute to or from work try getting off a stop earlier than you normally do and briskly walking. When we get the blood pumping in our bodies we feel more stimulated and happy. With many studies showing the positive link between mood and exercise there’s no better way to shake off any seasonal blues.
Organise and Prioritise
When the environment around us is cluttered it can have a proven negative effect on wellbeing. Take on new tasks and projects, whether it’s a spring clean around the house or making time to focus on a relationship you’ve been neglecting. Evaluate your life and organise what needs doing. Add a time scale in which it can be accomplished by and this will provide a sense of calm, lift spirits and make us even more motivated to pursue goals in other areas.
Whilst I don’t have the best track record for following my own advice I’m keen to see how these techniques can be put in to action. I’ve definitely been a bit of a coach potato these last few (long) months, and felt pretty awful too. If you have any motivation tips please share!