Christmas is such a high-energy time of year with quality time spent with family and friends, good food and parties, but with the highs come the lows, post-holiday blues are something felt by the vast majority of us. Heading back to work combined with the freezing cold weather, we’re not surprised January leaves us feeling (and looking!) a little blue.
Although this is a pretty universal feeling, if you’re struggling, it could be more than that. Seasonal Affective Disorder, otherwise known as SAD, is a type of depression that comes and goes with seasonal patterns.
A lack of sunlight is believed to be the main cause of this as this affects:
- The body’s natural circadian rhythm that regulates our 24hr clock
- Production of melatonin - the body may produce more melatonin, the hormone which makes you feel sleep
- Production of serotonin - a lack of serotonin affects mood and may trigger feelings of depression
It’s important to try to see the good in the bad, focus on the positives for a more optimistic outlook. Winter means cosy nights in, film marathons and hot chocolates. It also means that Spring is on its way! Winter doesn’t last forever, before you know it you’ll be thinking about Easter chocolate, lamb roasts and blossom.
We’ve come up with our top tips for keeping positive this New Year.
Here’s 9 Ways You Can Beat The Winter Blues
Sunlight - Get as much sunlight as possible. As the days are colder and shorter, sunlight levels drop by a lot in winter and autumn. Getting out during the hours that the sun is still out will increase your serotonin and help regulate the body’s natural 24hr clock.
Fresh air - Getting out and about for a morning walk will make you feel more productive and more purposeful in life. This one takes a bit of motivation if you’re feeling low but it is proven; when you’re on a walk, you breathe more oxygen which will increase the amount of serotonin (the happy hormone!) you inhale, whilst lowering your heart rate and therefore anxiety.
Reading - Immersing yourself into a good book is known to be a healthy exercise for the brain, helping it to process information verbally and visibly. Reading helps your brain to relax, reducing stress levels in both your mind and body. It also makes you feel more accomplished in comparison to watching a film, helping you to feel like you have achieved more in the day.
Vitamin D - Vitamin D boosts serotonin levels, eating more fatty fish, seafoods and foods fortified with Vitamin D as well as getting enough sunlight will up the levels and improve mood.
Skincare routine - Having a daily routine helps alleviate anxiety, practising this using skincare is the perfect (and an appealing) way to get in the habit of sticking to one. In the colder months, we are all partial to a boiling hot shower to warm ourselves up, but this may be the cause of your dry, tight skin. Hot showers and central heating draw moisture away from the skin, stripping it of its natural oils and causing your skin to feel tight and dry. If this sounds like you, take our Skin Diagnostic to see what deeply hydrating products you could be in need of! If you want to cut to the chase and keep things simple, our Skin Nourish Trio has the perfect combination of h2o boosting ingredients, ideal for a cooler climate.
Sleep pattern - Ever felt like you’ve woken up on the wrong side of bed? Us too! This is likely to be down to a disrupted sleep pattern, after a night of tossing and turning you may feel more irritable and moody. Getting into a good sleep pattern (that you stick to!) will help you get a better quality sleep, ensuring you wake up well rested and ready for the day ahead.
Diet - Brain food really is a thing! Eating a well balanced diet can regulate mood. Continuous unhealthy eating may be the cause of your low moods due to the constant blood sugar fluctuations and nutritional imbalances. Our minds function 100x better when you eat food that makes you feel good. Remember, this doesn’t mean salads for breakfast, lunch and dinner, this means getting your fruits and veggies, carbohydrates, sugars, fats, dairies etc - the lot!
Activities - Do what makes YOU feel good! Find a balance between getting the more tedious tasks out the way because they need to be done (im looking at you - cleaning!) and doing activities because you love them. For example, do you enjoy skiing? Book a spontaneous ski lesson or go the full way and book a trip away. It doesn’t matter how big or small, as long as you can fit it into your lifestyle then why not! Don’t forget, our Travel Skin Sets are perfect for long weekends away with our travel-friendly monodose format and you will save 15%!
A problem shared is a problem halved - This may seem cliche but there's a reason why everyone says it and that’s because it’s true. Talk to a close friend or family member about the way you’re feeling, it's likely they’ll be able to relate in some sort and be able to validate your feelings. Just getting something off your chest alleviates the pressure of it weighing on your shoulders, they may be able to help you combat these feelings and provide some relief.
The End Is Near
It’s not long until longer warmer days and the end to this long winter is in sight. Keep pushing through, you’re doing great!
If these symptoms feel all too familiar, it might be time to speak to your doctor. Getting help from a medical professional will help you get to the bottom of what you’re feeling and they will provide you with a number of ways you can try to improve the way you’re feeling, from psychological treatments to things you can do at home.
Author - Lily Scales
*This information is for educational purposes only. It is not a substitute for a medical diagnosis or treatment. Always check with a doctor.