Feeling down in the dumps? You’re not alone. Many people find the arrival of autumn and winter a difficult time and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a recognised condition. Y! Lifestyle spoke to Dr Winckler from thehealthcounter.com for his top advice for staying cheery.
1. Don’t comfort eat. This will only make you feel worse. Instead eat plenty of Omeg-3 rich foods (oily fish, nuts and seeds). Mackerel is a good choice as it’s also high in vitamin D, which we all start to lack as daylight hours and sunlight decrease. Leafy greens are also a good choice so add them as an accompaniment to warming winter meals such as Shepherd’s Pie and Lasagna.
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2. Get natural light (or fake it). Make sure you get out of the house or office as much as you can. A brisk walk round the block at lunch time will get your blood moving and let you absorb vitamin D from the sun’s feeble rays. If you can’t get enough naturally, try an alarm clock that wakes you up with light, such as the Lumie Bodyclock Starter 30 Sun Alarm (£49.99). This should realign your sleep/wake patterns, which will balance your mood during the day.
3. Exercise. No one feels like going for a run when it’s wet outside, so consider joining a gym, swimming pool or even just stock up on some home-exercise videos to get moving in the comfort of your own (centrally heated) living room.
4. Boost your immune system. Sleeping well, eating healthily and exercising should help but if you’re prone to coughs and colds, try supplements such as zinc, vitamin C and Echinacea to give you a helping hand. If your body’s well, your mind is more likely to be too. (Check out our seasonal health site for more immune-system boosters)
5. Go on holiday. OK it’s a bit of a cop-out but if you can, why not use your holiday days to get a little winter sun, rather than going on the traditional summer vacation?
Here at Y! Lifestyle, we also recommend plenty of hugs, snuggling up with a good book and open fires.
Do you have any SAD-beating tricks?