The one thing I find so hard to contend with in Winter is the dark mornings and the long nights. Waking up in the dark just feels so unnatural to me and it can feel very bleak having so little light during the Winter period. We’re brought up to associate the dark with bedtime so it can be hard to adjust when the darkness creeps in. Whilst I don’t think I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (“SAD”) I definitely think it’s important to come up with coping strategies to make the transition to less light a lot easier. Here’s some of my top tips to cope with the winter blues.
Avoid the snooze button
Whilst it’s so tempting to keep hitting snooze when it’s so dark outside, it will play havoc with your routine. By allowing yourself to oversleep your body clock will get confused with the mixed signals you’re giving it. When you finally have to get up early you’ll find you may feel more lethargic and tired then normal as your body has become out of sync.
Buy a light box
If you really do struggle with the dark mornings you may want to invest in a light box. They’re a lot brighter than normal lights and can be set up to light up gradually just like the rising sun. By using a light box for 30 minutes a day you’ll receive the adequate amount of light you need to stay happy and healthy.
Try the Lumia Arabica SAD light (£103.56 on Amazon)
Exercise in daylight
Combine exercising (which can release serotonin, the happy hormone) with day light in order to get a really feel good feeling. By exercising in the open you’ll be exposed to more light than normal which will help to raise your mood. If you can’t get out make sure you still incorporate exercise into your daily routine and keep it to the same time each day.
Eat at the same time
Regardless of what season it is, it’s important to keep a routine. Whilst we may lack light in Autumn and Winter our body clocks respond to timing, and keeping things consistent will help keep the blues at bay.
Plan a holiday
What could make you happier then the thought of relaxing on a sun kissed island? Holidays are a great way of cheering you up as you start to look forward to warmer days in the upcoming months.
Eat cheer me up food.
Sweets are full of sugar and may initially raise your mood as your blood sugar spikes. However the feeling is often temporary as a drop in blood sugar levels can result in feelings of sadness. Opt for food like chocolate (mainly dark chocolate) which is created with cocoa beans, an ingredient which can reduce anxiety whilst increasing your alertness and mood. What better reason could you have for eating chocolate!?
Turn that music up
A good upbeat tune can really raise your mood as you start to bop and sing along to the rhythmic beat. Try to avoid the Celine Dion tunes though…
Lend a hand
You know that warm happy feeling you get inside when you help someone out? Well the benefits last a lot longer than you think. Regular volunteering can help to lower your stress levels and improve your overall mood. You’re also be happy knowing your work is doing so much to help to others. Win win.