Living in the UK Winter Blues is something we all go through, every year without fail, but this year it seems to be more of a challenge. Having gone through the whole ‘Covid Process’ and coming out yet more confused than ever before, we are fighting off the Winter Blues along with Omnicron, Neurovirus, Winter bug, Headache Virus and a hundred other viral names that are cropping up every other day.
What is Winter Blues?
It’s a feeling of sadness, tiredness, fatigue, low levels of concentration, lack of motivation during the winter season due to the change in the weather and the shorter sunlight days.
Winter blues is actually related to the lack of sunlight, so when we wake up its dark, our workplaces are usually dark if in a office with little or no windows. When we leave work its usually dark. At home its dark.
During winter we usually only get a few hours of natural light and usually this is the period where we are at work, kids are at school, and so we miss out on it.
This actually affects our frame of mind more than we think.
Although there isn’t much we can do about the cold and the lack of sunlight, there are ways in which we can beat the winter blues, by making a few changes in our lifestyle during this period.
This one is first on my list especially at this moment in time. Their is just too much confusion going on at the moment, especially surrounding the whole Covid situation. Being at Home all day in winter we are more inclined to switch on the telly and watch the news.
SWITCH IT OFF. We know the basics- wear masks, hand wash, and continue with some level of social distancing, regardless of What Boris Says. You don’t need to know figures, you don’t need to know if there’s a new variant, you don’t need to know how many people are in hospital.
Look out for yourself and your family members and keep it simple.
Brightness is what is needed to fight off winter blues, so add more light into your room. Nobody is saying have a renovation, but add brighter props into the room you spend most of your time in, like a bright wall paintings, white walls, and coloured cushions.
The brighter the room, the better the mood.
Bring more light into the room with lamps, place them at different areas of the room. its like bringing the sun inside.
During winter I love myself a piping warm pie, its the perfect winter food. It warms up your insides and somehow always makes me happier? How? I don’t know but I do know that Foods have the ability to make you feel better.
Add protein to your foods, that will energise you, and try and stay away from the caffeine and sugar as that may be indulgent at first, but the body will then need rest, and fall into fatigue.
With the lack of sunlight winter months always bring about a lack in Vitamin D in the body. Low Vitamin D can cause a breakdown in the body, some of the symptoms include muscle weaknesses, fatigue,body aches and depression- all the signs of the Winter Blues.
The best way to tackle this is by changing the diet, try and incorporate rich in Vitamin D foods into your meals, like Fish, milk, yoghurt, orange juice. All of this will keep your Body in check and take away any aches and pains.
If you feel you are struggling more ask the pharmacist for Vitamin D supplements or talk to your doctor about a Vitamin D Booster Jab.
Winter months can really affect your sleeping routine, I find that I like to sleep more during the day but then struggle at night. It is so very important to keep a sleep routine during the winter months.
This has to be the hardest for me, I like to hibernate in winter, I’m sure that I have been a chipmunk in another lifetime. How I ended up human and now deal with winter? I don’t know.
Exercise is a key part in beating the winter blues. In winter we naturally don’t go out or do as much as we would in summer and therefore we need something to boost the energy levels.
Even if it means going out for a 10 minute walk. You’ll find a world of difference in your mood.
If Covid taught us one thing it is the importance of friends and family. The support system we have around is is so important in our well being. Keep in touch with friends and family, make that extra call, arrange coffee dates. Just talk and laugh.
Also avoid people who are negative, who lower your mood and who make you feel depressed after a visit. Learn to understand your body and mind by evaluating your feelings after meeting someone. If someone makes you feel happier- call them more often and spend time with them
Volunteer for a charity or mosque/church or even a organisation. i.e homelessness. Sometimes giving back to the community makes us feel more worthwhile as a being, and also helps us to connect and appreciate the little joys in life
As mentioned before Winter blues are mainly caused because of the lack of sunlight, so to best treat it is to try and get some sunlight into your life. Maybe sit near the window throughout the day when a little light is out. Bring more light into the house by opening up all curtains like we do in summer. Try and go for a short walk at this time if possible, maybe as a lunch break.
If all of this is not working consider using Light Therapy Lamps a few of the recommended ones can be found here
Light therapy is known to work best in the morning, set up your light therapy lamp to half an hour before you wake up and see the difference it makes in your mood when waking up.
IF you have tried all of this and still feeling no comfort it may be time to talk to the doctor, as in the UK we always facing more winter months than summer. If you feel that your symptoms don’t seem to get better regardless of what you do you may be dealing with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
This is a condition which may need doctor or even psychological intervention and medication.
Hope you enjoyed this read and will take some practises along with you?
How have you been coping with the winter blues?
Any tips that I can add on to my list?
Love and regards