How to fight the winter blues

January 27, 2013

If the cold weather and general winter blues are getting you down then there are a number of things you can do to help cheer yourself up. So here is Shumaila’s guide to how to cheer yourself up this winter.


Photo: Clare

Photo: Clare

Do some exercise

It may be cold and wet out but getting out and doing some exercise, especially in the fresh air, will really help lift your mood. Exercise reduces the stress hormone, cortisol as well releasing endorphins (which are the bodies feel good chemicals). As well as endorphins, exercise also releases adrenaline, serotonin and dopamine which work together to give you a natural high. Therefore, just by doing regular exercise you can actually start to feel better and if you get outdoors when you do then you can get a much needed boost of vitamin D.

Eat right

Eating the wrong kind of food can make you feel sluggish so just eating healthy can make you feel much better in your self. Research has also shown that foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids block chemicals called cytokines, which can cause low moods so by eating oily fish, nuts, flaxseed oil and seeds can help raise your mood.

Visit friends

Countless studies show that just seeing friends and loved ones can be a perfect mood boost, so even if you don’t feel up for socialising get off the sofa and book some dates in your diary to see friends – you will feel better for it.

Book a holiday

Research has found that creating happiness is one of the best ways to boost your mood so by planning something like a holiday will make you feel much better. What’s more even looking forward to a holiday can help you as the power of anticipation makes you excited – releasing endorphins which as we know are the brains happy chemicals.

Of course if you can get time off work there are some great bargains to be had on last minute deals so you could jet off for some winter sun sooner than you think and come back feeling much better.

Get 40 winks

Making sure you get regular sleep is also really important. Sleep experts say you should establish a regular sleep pattern as skipping 40 winks and then catching up in one long session is not ideal. Instead, you should try and keep you bed times regular and try to get seven to eight hours each night that way you will feel refreshed and revitalised.

Fight SAD

If you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (or SAD for short) you might find that the long winter nights has an effect on your moods. If that is the case you might find that investing in a special lamp, designed to mimic daylight, could help you feel better.

Take time for you

Spending time looking after your wellbeing can do wonders for your mood so why not book in for a hair cut, manicure, or massage? This will give you a boost and help you feel refreshed and a relaxed body equals a happy mind. What’s more you will look great as well which can also help lift your spirits so it’s a win win situation.