If the depths of winter have got you needing a mood boost, then our wellness columnist has just the tonic. *Spoiler alert* spa days and sunny outfits are top of her list!
It’s the time of year when sunshine seems like a distant memory; we might be lucky to even glimpse daylight during the working week, and it can all feel a little gloomy. It means it can be a struggle to keep your mood up, stay energised and feel positive. So it’s vital to have strategies to see us through, as sadly we can’t all dash off to the Caribbean at the drop of a hat.
I have to make sure I put in extra effort to keep on top of my wellbeing at this time of year. It’s vital to keep moving and stay active. I know it’s tempting to snuggle up and stay cosy indoors, but exercise does help to keep your mood up. I really notice the difference if I’ve not been able to get to the gym for a few days. I try to head outdoors as much as possible, but as the sun isn’t strong enough for us to get enough vitamin D, I take a supplement every day. A lack of vitamin D can leave you feeling not just tired, but even lower your mood. I use a mouth spray supplement as I don’t like taking lots of tablets. I also increase the amount of vitamin D-rich foods I eat such as oily fish and eggs. It’s a key time to make sure you’re packing the nutrition in. If I’m feeling sluggish I reach for a green smoothie, a handful of nuts and seeds or a fruit salad.
Supplements are definitely my friend at this time of year. As well as vitamin D, I use a B12 spray first thing every morning for energy. It not only helps to improve your mood, but is good for healthy hair, skin and nails. Coughs and colds are a constant threat at this time of year, so I also take a multivitamin fizzy tablet if I feel my immune system is low. Turmeric is another one of my go-tos, as curcumin not only has great antioxidant powers, but is said to help ward off a whole host of nasties, including heart disease and some cancers, as well as having an antidepressant effect.
And, I find if all else fails… cheat! Give yourself a bit of a boost and schedule in a spa day, relax on the sunlounger by the pool, pop in the sauna, shut your eyes and pretend you’re on holiday. Visualise you’re there and it’ll be as restorative as a mini‐break. You can even add some tanning oil to your moisturiser to give yourself a holiday glow at the same time!
Here are my tips for dealing with the winter blues:
1. Boost your nutrition – bring out the sunshine in your diet with loads of veg, leafy greens, and carrots. Beta‐carotene can give you a healthy glow, so try drinking vegetable juice each day.
2. Add multivitamins and supplements when needed, to help support your body, and particularly vitamin D as there’s not enough in the sun to see us through winter
3. Head outdoors and get as much daylight as you can. If you’re struggling, consider getting a SAD lamp (to combat Seasonal Affective Disorder) which helps top up your levels.
4. Give yourself a lift by wearing bright clothes. A study has shown that we tend to wear dark colours when our mood is low, which in turn, makes us feel worse. So, buck the trend and pick out your loudest outfits to put a smile on your face.
5. Plan ahead and treat yourself. Schedule in a massage or a spa day. Sit in a sauna and go on a virtual holiday in your head! Book that holiday or weekend away, plan things to look forward to that will lift your mood and help you bide time until we see some sunshine that will put a spring in our step!