Beating the winter blues – lifestyle tips to help you stay positive
Ever noticed how a bright, sunny winter’s day can really lift your mood and energy levels? We can really miss that bright daylight in the winter and the positive impact it can have on our mood. It can be hard to stay positive and motivated on cold, wet, dark days. Add in the extra dynamic of lockdown and restrictions on social activities this year and the result is more people struggling with low mood.
The good news is that there are lots of simple steps we can take to boost our mood. Sometimes it really is the little things that make a difference – we just need to remember to do them. By incorporating some of these ideas into your daily routine, building them up until you are doing them for 20 minutes a day, can help reduce levels of cortisol the stress hormone and increase levels of serotonin, our feel good hormone.
- Get outside in daylight when you can – even better if you can also do some physical activity like going for a walk in nature or gardening.
- Exercise – as well as boosting mood and reducing stress levels, exercise brings other health benefits such as boosting your immune system and managing weight. However, high intensity exercise can increase cortisol levels. Walking, swimming and dancing are all good options.
- Try yoga, this can help you relax, reduce pain levels and boost your immune system and your mood. There are a number of free online yoga classes available such as Yoga with Adrienne, with classes from 7 minutes to one hour.
- Do some breathing exercises to help lower your stress levels. These can be done on your way to work, when cooking dinner or whenever you start to feel stress levels rising. A simple exercise is to inhale for a count of four, hold the breathe for a count of five and then exhale for a count of six. Making your exhale longer than your inhale helps to calm the mind and body.
- Have an Epsom salts bath. The magnesium helps to support the nervous system and bring about relaxation. Even better if you can do some breathing exercises in the bath.
- Talk to friends or family and spend time with people who make you laugh and you can have fun with – even if that is via Zoom.
- Listen to some music you really enjoy, sing along and dance.
Be kind to yourself and try one of these tips today.
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The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this blog are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this blog. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this blog. Emma Belton Nutrition disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this blog.