Beat the Winter Blues; Keep your Energy High and Your Mood Lifted
Are you feeling fatigue and having erratic mood swings. Is your energy levels low, get up to go to work in the dark, then drive home in the dark and when you do get home have no energy but to sit on the sofa and catch up with the latest soaps or reality TV.
Winter is in full force. As the days get shorter and the nights get colder, even the best of us can get a little down. The “winter blues” are characterized by the mild depression, lack of motivation, and low energy that many people experience during this cold season. “SAD” Seasonal Adjustment Disorder tends to occur at the same time every year and can affect a number of us. All we want to do is hibernate, comfort eat and manifest in our own self pity. Our energy levels decrease, a lack in ability to concentrate and also a lack of interest in work and other activities that we would normally take part in. Luckily, there’s a lot you can do to both prevent the blues from coming on and get yourself back to normal. Mind over matter and being positive with your actions can help you overcome any low levels of energy and increase that interest that you usually lose this time of year!!!
Why cease exercise?? We are just 4 weeks away from Christmas and lots of festivities to look forward to. No doubt glam dresses for us ladies and tux’s for the guys so we want to look and feel great. Exercise is a great way to get fit and lose weight but also it is a great way to release those stress levels that we experience in everyday life. Exercise releases “serotonin 5HTP” happy hormones which are the feel good chemicals to lift your mood. Why would you want to stop those happy hormones being released, especially if you are one of those individuals that do experience a mood change this time of year… Be proactive.
Eat a healthy diet. What and when you eat has a great affect on your energy and moods. Write a food diary, monitor your energy levels from 1 – 10 with 10 being in a positive mood. You will be able to monitor what foods you have eaten and how they make you feel. Try and avoid refined processed foods and replace with complex carbohydrates such as whole wheat breads, vegetables and fruits. These types of foods will increase your concentration and provide your body and mind with the right nutrients, stabilising your blood sugar and energy levels.
Avoid Binge Drinking Many people who feel down tend to turn to alcohol but alcohol is actually a depressant! So rather than improving your mood it only makes you feel worse. We have all experienced at some time in our lives having a bad day and wanting an alcoholic drink or two. Makes us feel better at the time and then afterwards we wondered why we did it. Moderate drinking is fine for most people but binge drinking (drinking more than 5 drinks in one sitting plus) is never a healthy choice. The morning after the night before of feeling sick, sluggish, tired will make you more depressed, making your energy levels lower and feeling much worse.
Treat yourself! Having something to look forward to always tends to lift our moods and keeps us motivated. Winter does seem endless to some people and you are counting down the days and wishing the months away until the sun starts shining again. If you start planning something exciting it actually lifts your mood in anticipation for when that event actually arrives. Plan a holiday in the Sun. Sunlight provides us with Vitamin D but also helps improve our moods. Arrange a night out with friends or a weekend away with your loved one or family.
Catch some shut eye Zzzzzzzz! People naturally want to sleep a little bit more during the winter. But with all we have going on, sometimes sleep is the first thing to go. Aim for 7-8 hours a night and try to keep your bedtime and waking time consistent. If we have a regular sleeping pattern you will generally have more energy. If we lack sleep we become irritable and restless, lack of concentration and motivation. We need to break that cycle and discipline ourselves to rest. Oversleeping can make you more groggy and tired so no more than 12 hours and if you need to take naps! A short 15-30 minute siesta could be all you need to re-energise and has also been clinically proven to reduced Blood Pressure!
Keep Active, Keep Healthy for mind, body and soul.