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Banish the winter blues

8 top tips for embracing the darkest days of the year

Banish the winter blues

It’s no wonder so many animals chose to hibernate and sleep their way through the winter months. The days are short, the skies are dark and the holiday buzz is most definitely over. The rain feels relentless and there is a Baltic chill in the air. You feel melancholy, sluggish, tired, moody and generally want to while away your days curled up on the sofa.

Whilst most people find they experience some mild forms of winter depression, 4-6% of the population will suffer from a more serious medical condition called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). This is triggered by the same environmental conditions that lead to the winter blues, but the symptoms experienced are much more extreme and can cause anxiety, depression, over or under eating/sleeping and a lack of social confidence.

Below we have compiled a list of top tips for embracing the positives during the darkest days of the year. But, if you are still feeling down after trying them out, then we advise that you consult with your doctor.

1. Get out and about

They say a change of scenery is as good as a rest, and nothing lifts your spirits like a brisk walk. So, wrap up warm and head out into the great outdoors to enjoy a daily dose of light and fresh air. It can do wonders for your mood and will help to re-set your body-clock. Whether you choose to take an early morning jog or a leisurely walk to work, savour a coffee break outside or eat your lunch in your local park; soaking up some natural light will give you the motivation you need to get through the day.

2. Let there be light

vitamin d deficiency

If getting any form of natural daylight is proving tricky, then simply opening the curtains, sitting by the window, cranking up the lights or placing lit candles around the home will not only brighten your surroundings but elevate your mood. Unfortunately, due to lack of sunlight exposure, Vitamin D deficiency is very common in the winter months.

We need Vitamin D as it plays an important role within our bodies and is good at enhancing immunity, supporting our cardiovascular health and regulating our moods. It is therefore important that our diet is rich in foods that are high in Vitamin D such as oily fish and dairy to give our immune systems an extra boost.


3. Keep fit

You may find it hard to muster up any motivation or energy to exercise during the colder months, but regular exercise has been proven to help fight against depression and normalize moods. Keeping your energy up and getting your sweat on will do wonders for your well-being this winter.

4. Maintain a healthy diet

You may be craving carb heavy meals but relying on unhealthy foods for energy can leave you feeling even more down. Especially in the winter when our immune systems could do with a little helping hand. So instead of eating big bowls of pasta, think warming soups and hearty stews to keep you healthy and shift your mental status.

Positive Thinking

5. A Positive Mindset

You may be craving carb heavy meals but relying on unhealthy foods for energy can leave you feeling even more down.

Especially in the winter when our immune systems could do with a little helping hand. So instead of eating big bowls of pasta, think warming soups and hearty stews to keep you healthy and shift your mental status.

6. Treat yourself

If you have been dreaming of a weekend away, sun-kissed beaches or culture rich cities, then now is the time to book your escape. But treating yourself doesn’t have to be expensive. Making time for yourself with a long soak in the bath, doing a little yoga or finding time to finally pick up a good book will do wonders for your body, mind and soul.

7. Try something new

There’s no better time to try a new hobby or learn another skill than during winter. By giving yourself something to look forward to or setting yourself a new goal is not only sociable and enjoyable but will help time fly by. Whether its joining the gym, learning another language, indulging in some DIY or perfecting your culinary skills, now’s the time to try something different.

Getting Lots of Sleep

8. Sleep

Whether you are you a night owl or an early riser, getting a good night’s sleep should never be underestimated. Historically used as a form of torture, sleep deprivation can lead to loss of concentration, high blood pressure, anxiety and agitation. So, limit the caffeine and alcohol, power down the electronic devices and keep your room a haven of tranquillity as you embrace the restorative benefits of getting 7-8 hours of shut eye.


About the Author Vicky Henderson

A bachelors degree in nutritional sciences and professional certifications in business development has given Vicky the ideal credentials to build an internet presence dedicated to health and lifestyle improvement. The aim of this website is to provide factual reviews and information on a range of dietary supplements, as well as providing general health/wellbeing tips.

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