Winter has well and truly arrived. With the days getting shorter and storm after storm battering the country, many of us begin to feel a bit down in the dumps as we pine for a gentle summer breeze.
This is what's known as the winter blues and is thought to affect roughly 15% of the population. In more extreme cases, it becomes known as Seasonal Affective Disorder, or S.A.D. for short, which means the seasons can cause depression to those effected. If it gets to that stage then we always recommend seeking the advice of a medical profession first and foremost, but there are a few things you can do yourself to help your winter mood.
The benefits of exercise when it comes to the winter blues cannot be understated. Exercise and other types of physical activity is proven to release endorphines which has effects similar to morphine. Not only that but it helps to keep off those Christmas pounds but it builds your self esteem, lifting your mood as a result.
Brighten your surroundings
While the winter months are notoriously dark, especially in Ireland, having those curtains welded shut is not the answer. Natural light always trumps artificial so pull those blinds, give the trees a trim, anything blocking sunlight, get rid of it. Go out for walks when you get the chance, the fresh air and sunlight will do you the world of good.
Watch your diet
Your diet can hugely impact your mental well being at this time of year. Keeping away from sugars and starch heavy foods is very much recommended as, while they provide a temporary boost, they release insulin into the blood and create more cravings. This can result is agitation if cravings aren't satisfied and a yo yo pattern to your food intake. Low impact carbs, such as nuts and oats, as well as high protein foods are recommended at this time of year.