Embrace Winter – Stay active, eat healthy, stay social, get adequate sleep.
Why Winter Exercise is Important
There is mounting evidence that suggests exercise is effective in alleviating depressive symptoms. Instead of avoiding the cold, try and view winter as something to be enjoyed, not something to be endured. Exercise can make a big difference in mood and needs to be a fundamental part of mental health support.
Find a daily opportunity to spend some time outdoors so that you get some exposure to the sun. Bundle up in your warmest clothes, a winter walk in the daylight can make all the difference to your mood.
Make an effort to be social
Many of us are less social in winter. While socialising can seem like an effort in the winter months, it can help boost your mood. Make an effort to see friends and accept invitations, even if you only go for a while. Simply being around people can feel good, like being in a gallery, movie theatre or concert.
The cold weather can have us reaching for comfort foods high in sugar and fat. While you may get a short-lived mood boost from these foods, they can negatively affect your overall mood, so try and resist the temptation and eat fresh food.
The shorter days mean less sunshine which lowers vitamin D levels. Small amounts of vitamin D can be gained from foods such as fatty fish, portobello mushrooms, egg yolks and fortified milk.
Get Your Sleep
The shorter, darker days of winter increase the body’s production of melatonin, which regulates sleep. Maintain regular sleep habits to keep a regular sleep schedule on both weekdays and weekends. Taking care to manage your sleep at these times is critical.
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