December is a month full of chaos, you may find yourself stuck between strict time schedules, recycling colds and scraping icy car windows.
If you suffer from lower moods as the darker nights and shorter days loom closer, you’re not alone! Seasonal Affective Disorder, otherwise known as SAD is a type of depression that comes and goes with seasonal patterns. There is no definite cause of SAD but according to the Mayo Clinic, it is believed that the decrease in sunlight:
- Disrupts the body’s natural circadian rhythm which regulates our 24 hour clock
- Causes a lack of serotonin affects mood and may trigger feelings of depression
- Disrupts melatonin levels which play a role in sleep and mood
However, winter also means hot chocolates, cosy blankets, Christmas movie nights and snowy walks. It's important to direct your focus onto the positives and enhance your wellness efforts to combat this chilly period.
Here's 5 Ways You Can Battle Winter To Stay Happy And Healthy
- As sunlight is more limited, ensure you're replacing your Vitamin D source. You can take Vitamin D supplements which help improve your mood and energy levels. Another way is by loading up on those Vitamin D rich foods such as salmon, eggs, tuna and orange juice.
- It can be so tempting to lie in bed all day but getting out and about in the daytime will not only help you get as much sunlight as possible but also, getting fresh air is good for the mind and body. Getting regular exercise helps to manage stress through pumping more oxygen to your brain. Your brain also releases endorphins which can boost your mood, making you feel more positive. So whether it's cycling, running or just a daily stroll, stick to something you enjoy to help you stay on track in the long term.
Harsher temperatures and hotter showers can damage the skin barrier and leave it feeling dry and sensitive. This is why it's so important to ramp up the skincare routine, focusing on your skin concerns during that period. Look for a rich moisturiser, specific to your unique needs. Not sure what's right for you? Use our Skin Diagnostic that recommends you only exactly what you need in under 5 minutes.
Maintain a regular sleep pattern. Although hibernation sounds appealing right now, it is recommended we get 8 hours sleep during winter to stop us from feeling sluggish. Paying close attention to sticking to a routine will improve sleep quality, helping you to fall asleep at the same time and wake up feeling fresher.
- Find a balance between activities you find stressful with ones you find enjoyable or relaxing, this will help prevent you from feeling lost amongst this hectic period. And when it comes to your diet, strike a balance between eating warm healthy foods such as soup and stews and treating yourself with a few Christmas chocolates in the evening.
If you're feeling low around this period, it might be time to talk to your doctor, there's no better advice than from a medical health professional to help you work through it!
*This information is for educational purposes only. It is not a substitute for a medical diagnosis or treatment. Always check with a doctor.
Author: Lily Scales