7 Ways to beat the winter blues and thrive this season
Flordis holistic health expert Michelle Boyd reveals seven ways to beat the winter blues and thrive this chilly season.
If you’ve ever felt like your mood or stress levels have been impacted by changes in the weather, you’re not alone. While some of us thrive during the colder months, research shows that up to 20 per cent of the population are likely to face “winter blues”, which are emotional challenges people experience as the season changes, including low mood, sleeplessness and lethargy, decreased motivation and concentration, or just general lack of energy.
Scientifically speaking, as the days are shorter in winter and daylight hours are limited, this impacts your body’s circadian rhythm (or body clock), leading to imbalanced serotonin and melatonin levels — both of which are essential for maintaining healthy emotional wellbeing and sleep. In addition, the rainy weather also means you are isolating indoors, avoiding social settings and reducing outdoor exercise, all of which can also contribute to decreased mood and motivation in the cooler months.
However, while I’m sure we’ve all faced a bout of winter blues at one point in our lives, the reality is that you don’t need to just “put up” with symptoms and instead can make simple changes in your day-to-day routine that will help you achieve balance and contentment — even if the weather is doing the opposite.
So, here are my top seven ways to beat the winter blues and any niggly winter blues symptoms to thrive to your fullest capacity during these next few months!
1. Get physical
In the words of Aussie icon Olivia Newton John, getting physical should be your go-to solution for combatting any signs of low mood or motivation. Countless studies link regular exercise to improved mental health and emotional wellbeing in individuals, not to mention it also helps reduce the risk of developing more serious illnesses. And just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you need to put your joggers in the closet. Even if the weather isn’t suitable to go outdoors, you can still hit the gym, try some indoor sports, or even if you don’t want to leave the comfort of your house, try an easy at-home workout plan or YouTube fitness videos. Just stay physical.
2. Try not to overindulge
I’m sure I’m not the only one who uses winter as an excuse to become a couch potato and indulge in a bit more food and alcohol; no one’s going to see your beach body for another six months, right? Well, while it can be tempting to indulge more during winter, unhealthy foods and excessive alcohol can impact your emotional wellbeing and really heighten those winter blues. Instead of trying to cut foods out or make things incredibly hard for yourself, simply keep your diet as balanced as possible and limit your indulgences such as alcohol, sugars, unhealthy fats and unhealthy carbohydrates.
3. Goal setting is for everyone
Goal setting is an essential part of teeing yourself up for success and, no, you don’t need to be a business or a high-flying entrepreneur to set goals. Your cognitive abilities are strengthened as you set and maintain goals, no matter how big or small they are. On chilly mornings, it can be hard to even get yourself out of bed. So, start small and work your way up to bigger goals. These will help keep you centred, give you motivation for each task and help you stay more focused. If you are finding it challenging to stay focused in order to complete your goals, you may wish to speak to your healthcare professional regarding complementary medicines you can add to your routine such as Flordis Keenmind®, which is clinically proven to increase your memory, concentration and focus.1-5
4. Sleep, but don’t hibernate!
There’s a reason many animals hibernate for winter. It’s cold, going outdoors is a difficult feat and it requires more energy to get up each day. In Australia, as there is no daylight savings in winter, the days are shorter and the sun goes down earlier, this can totally offset your body clock and lead to disjointed sleep patterns. A natural response is to oversleep; however, this can actually be worse for your health. The best thing to help yourself get back into good sleep patterns it to maintain your routine (preferred hours of sleep per night), avoid over-sleeping and try to minimise screen time before bed. Even standing outside in the darkness for a few minutes will tell your body it’s time to get some rest. If you’re still struggling with sleep quality, though, it is recommended you speak to a healthcare professional to explore potential complementary options like Flordis Redormin® Forte, which is designed to help relieve sleeplessness, restore healthy sleep patterns and improve the quality of your sleep.6
5. Beware the opposite of self-care
People are always telling me they don’t have time for self-care. I gently like to remind them that the opposite of self-care isn’t doing nothing, it’s actually self-sabotage. Every time you put your health and wellbeing in the “too-hard basket”, you are putting yourself at risk. While it is hard to make time and effort for yourself and do good things for your body during winter, it’s one of the best ways you can set yourself up for success. During winter, make sure you still do things that make you happy and fuel positive emotions in you, such as maintaining your social life, finding time to relax and practising mindfulness, reading, switching off from work etc. All these small ways you can look after yourself will make a world of difference.
6. Don’t make excuses for your mood
The first and most obvious sign of winter blues will be your mood. If you’re finding yourself getting snappy, feeling lethargic or just generally low, this is a good indication that the weather might be getting you down — and you don’t need to feel pressure to make excuses for it. But, thankfully, you don’t need to wait it out, either. Be sure to talk to your housemates or close friends/colleagues about how you’re feeling, journal things out if you need to and, in some instances, seek out a healthcare professional if you feel you need more in-depth support. If you’re feeling like your mood is generally unbalanced, you can also ask your healthcare professional about complementary medicine options such as Flordis Remotiv®, which is clinically proven to support emotional balance by relieving stress, mild anxiety and nervous tension.
7. Seek professional support
In today’s day and age, it is no longer taboo to seek the support of a qualified healthcare practitioner or psychologist to discuss your mental and cognitive wellbeing. If you notice any significant changes to your health during winter, or you recognise it in any friends or family, it is recommended you speak to a professional about your symptoms so they can help you get on the right track. Feeling a bit down during winter is normal, but it doesn’t have to become the norm.
For further information about cognitive health and ways to support your emotional wellbeing this winter, please visit flordis.com.au/cognitive-health.
ALWAYS READ THE LABEL AND FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS FOR USE. For more information about Flordis, visit www.flordis.com.au.
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