January: visions of long chilly nights, sniffly noses and clouds of breath in crisp morning air. According to the Mental Health Foundation, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) affects one in fifteen of us here in the UK, at this time of year. But fear not - there are many ways to prevent the inevitable mood slump that graces us after the holidays. Read on to discover my tried-and-tested, mood enhancing, winter wellness tips.
Winter Wellness Tips: 7 ways to battle winter blues
1. Get your blood pumping
This first tip may seem obvious. But exercise is a key way to release feel-good endorphins in the brain, and enhance your mood. The charity Mind
says research has shown that an hour-long walk in the middle of the day is an effective way to beat the winter blues. No matter how much you feel like hibernating right now, make sure you get moving!
2. See real sunlight
It’s been proven that people who are exposed to natural sunlight during winter are more productive, happier and have better sleep. And a mere fifteen minutes is all you need. So during your lunch break, why not head out for a walk?
3. Do something creative
Research shows that doing small creative activities each day can boost our sense of wellbeing hugely, and make us feel more energetic, enthusiastic, and excited for the next day. Whether you choose writing, painting, baking or crafting, you’re sure to feel more positive. And positive feelings lead to increased creativity, taking you in a wonderful upwards spiral.
4. Eat well and eat the right foods
Deep down, we all know that extreme, fad dieting is unhealthy and unsustainable. Instead we should focus on creating good dietary habits that will last. After the indulgence of the Christmas holidays, it’s vital that we now nourish our bodies with the right vitamins and minerals. A balanced diet is key, but you should particularly aim to eat foods that are rich in Vitamin C, such as citrus fruits, berries, broccoli and brussels sprouts, and foods that contain Vitamin D3 (something that our bodies create when exposed to sunlight), such as oily fish and eggs. You should also look for foods that are high in fibre, Zinc and Iron.
5. Don’t isolate yourself
You may feel like curling up on your own to watch Netflix, but avoiding human contact may be one of the worst things you can do at this time of year. Some studies show that lack of social interaction can even be as bad for you as smoking. Make sure you go out of your way to socialise with friends and family, to help improve your sense of wellbeing.
6. Declutter your space
Decluttering your space can be hugely beneficial to your mental health. Whether it’s your wardrobe
or your digital space that needs a clear out, it will help you feel less stressed, more organised and more in control.
7. Embrace Hygge
Relish in the cosiness of winter. The Danish are particularly good at this, and even have a word for it; Hygge
. I’m sure you’re familiar with Hygge, as it has quickly become a global phenomenon.
There isn’t a direct translation of the word, but it essentially means to be kind to yourself, and do things that make you happy. Spending quality time, creating a sense of warmth and cosiness, enjoying little indulgences and taking pleasure in the simple things. Whether it’s having dinner with friends or family, relaxing in a hot, candle-lit bath, baking or snuggling up on the sofa with a good book and a hot drink, embracing the downtime and disconnecting will help you feel calmer and more content.
What are your winter wellness tips? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @thoughtclothing
If you enjoyed reading this, you’ll also love discovering our 10 small things to do each day to help you feel happy