For those of us North of the equator, January can be more than a little gloomy. Sunshine is sparse, and the nights feel twice as long as the days. Temperatures have plummeted, the excitement and buzz over Christmas and New year are all over, and all anyone wants to do is hibernate under their duvet until Spring. Even if you do not suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), the chances are that you will feel some of winter’s less desirable effects – fatigue, the blues, craving carbs, and general malaise. However, there are things that you can do to banish the blues and make the winter months feel a little more bearable.
5 simple ways to banish the winter blues
1) Plan something nice
We are all so excited for Christmas and our summer holiday can seem like such a long way away from that there often feels like there is nothing to look forward to. Create something to look forward to! Whether it is a mini-break away to catch the longest running broadway shows or a spa break for you and your best friend, have something to look forward to.
2) Light up your life
One of the leading causes of seasonal affective disorder is a lack of light. We wake up and go to work in the dark, and come home in the dark, barely seeing any daylight. Surround yourself with as much natural light as possible – open all the curtains and blinds, choose seats next to the window, and supplement your doses of sunshine with full-spectrum light bulbs at home and work, to mimic the mood and immunity-boosting effects of sunshine.
3) Get out and about
The temptation to stay at home under a duvet and watch films on Netflix all winter is overwhelming sometimes, especially when the weather is terrible. However, just going out for a simple walk at lunchtime and blowing the cobwebs away can make a massive difference to your mood.
4) Eat and drink well
Carbs and comfort food are usually the order of the day in the winter, and while you should always eat food that you enjoy, it is important to maintain a healthy diet through winter. Aim to eat a minimum of five portions of fruit and vegetables every day, drink alcohol in moderation, and stay hydrated with plenty of water. There are plenty of warming and hearty meals that are jam-packed with veg – stews and casseroles, for a start!
5) Shock the senses
Sometimes, the senses need a bit of a shock to get out of the winter rut. It is the perfect time to give your home a bit of a colourful refresh – maybe swap out that dark and dingy living room for something modern and bright, or even something as simple as bright new bedding or cushions.
By putting some of these tips into practice, you can turn the dark, long days into something happy and positive, and set you up perfectly for the rest of the year.