In the Glowology household at winter, you’d be forgiven for thinking we are a family of cave people as we grunt our inaudible morning greetings on the landing and it’s me, in particular, that loses that summer spring-in-my-step round about mid October. With this in mind, I decided last year that as moving to an all year round sunny climate is out of the question – and for the sake of my poor, suffering family – I’d have to get a grip. So, for the first time ever – I’m definitely coping better with the lack of light and here’s why:
1. Vital Vitamin D: Although glimpses of the sun are few and far between at the moment, getting out into daylight for a brisk stroll as often as possible – at least twice a day, for me – ensures us a good boost of Vitamin D. Considering that research proves D deficiency can lead to headaches and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) symptoms, getting outside is an important part of my day. Also, as gloomy dark days can dampen production of the body’s production of seratonin, a mood regulating neurotransmitter, I also make sure that I work on my laptop near the window to stay as connected to natural light as possible.
2. What Supp? While looking into supplements which can help keep your energy and mood levels up, I came across Bio-Kult and decided to give it a go. This multi-strain probiotic helps keep the digestive and immune system in optimum condition so it’s ideal for winter when we’re more susceptible to coughs and cold. There’s also research which indicates probiotics help boost levels of Vitamin D so I’ve been taking a daily dose for around a month so far and can report a chirpier attitude…whether this is down to the Bio-Kult or the fact that I’m doing something good for my body, I can’t say for sure, but who cares if it gets results! Bio Kult costs £8.99 for 30 capsules from Tesco.
3. Excellent Exercise: It’s tempting to hibernate, but bear in mind that studies from Vanderbilt University Medical Centre in the States, show that women move less in December, January and February, burning 10% fewer calories than they do in the summer and are therefore more inclined to put on weight. For most of us, gaining weight leads to sluggishness, so to motivate myself to get along to fitness classes during winter, I capture that feeling of achievement and the post exercise high I get once I’ve worked out and play it back in my mind while I’m making excuses not to go. Knowing that I’ll feel invigorated afterwards helps me no end.
4. Be Kind: Filling up on lots of fruit and vegetables will give you plenty of nutrients and make you feel and look better, so keep the fruit bowl handy. But, as I mentioned in my post Beautify Your Diet, in the winter, I would rather think about feel good eating than dieting. To me, that means eating healthily most of the time, but making sure you don’t miss out on edible pleasures now and then. Tucking into a pudding after a meal out, enjoying a muffin over coffee or having a few glasses of fizzy with your friends shouldn’t make you feel guilty. I find it helps to be kind to myself in winter and realise that while I might be a little heavier than in the summer, I’m still keeping fit, getting my nutrients and feeling happy.
5. SAD proof surroundings: Even thought we can’t do much about the dreary weather, we can lift the look of our surroundings, which in turn help lift the spirits! I like to buy fresh flowers when possible and keep them near my desk to gaze at their beauty. Placing family photographs in a prime position and investing in a scented candle with an uplifting fragrance will go a long way to keeping you on the bright and happy path!
How do you stay SAD free in winter? I’d love to know!