The seemingly longer and darker days of the year are here. The air is getting colder, the rain continues to pour, the grey clouds linger and your once steely resolution to eat healthily has gone out the window… Welcome to the winter season!
If you’re feeling worn-out and irritable you’re not alone. You could be one of the 5% suffering from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) which is a type of depression that’s common in females during the gloomy weather. If you’re feeling under the weather, anxious or have difficulty sleeping, it’s important to talk to your doctor so you can determine if you’re suffering from prenatal depression or SAD.
If you’re dreaming of catching a glimpse of sunshine and wishing the dark days didn’t drag on so much, we have a few tips that’ll lift your spirits.
1) Keeping active can really help to keep your mood elevated. If you’re currently taking walks outside and using nature to lighten your mood- good for you. If not, wrap up warm, slip on some durable shoes and get some fresh air. If you’re travelling to the gym on a regular basis, it might be a good idea to have a plan for when it gets too dangerous to travel on the roads. Invest in a couple of pregnancy exercise DVDs so you can do your exercise routine at home.
2) We know how easy it is to dive into a big pizza or make a large, comforting mug of hot cocoa. Indulging occasionally is fine but it’s important to stock up on nutritious and healthy food. Keep a balance of carbohydrates and protein and stay clear of high sugar foods.
3) If you’re feeling over tired, it might be a good idea to boost your intake of Omega 3 fatty acids. You can find it in safe, low mercury fish like cod and salmon. If you want to take a DHA supplement, ask your doctor for advice.
4) Did you know that listening to music can enhance your mood? In fact, music helps your body to release a brain chemical called dopamine which influences your mood in a positive way. Put together the ultimate feel good playlist to help you get through the miserable weather.
5) One of the best ways to chase away the winter blues is to start on a project. Start working on organising those digital photos you’ve had for ages, make a start on knitting the baby blanket you’ve always wanted to make or try a DIY manicure.
6) A recent study found that half an hour of daily meditation lowered depression symptoms by 38%! Give meditation a try- sit in a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed and focus on your breathing.
7) Don’t underestimate the power of a good natter with your friends. Plan a coffee meet up or little get together. A lot of the time, talking about your feelings helps when you’re feeling down.
8) Did you know that a good, long embrace can help with your mood and your health? Spend the night having dinner with your partner- what better way to pass a winter’s day?