5 Ways to beat the winter blues

  •   by Medihelp
  •   30 June 2016
  •   65 view(s)
The "winter blues" are characterised by mild depression, a lack of motivation, and low energy levels – and most of us experience this during the cold season. Luckily, there’s much you can do to prevent the winter blues or get back to your normal, happy self if you’re already feeling down.

When your mood begins to drop faster than the temperature, follow these steps to lift your spirits:

1. Exercise
Exercise isn’t only for maintaining your weight and staying healthy, it’s great for relieving the stresses of life too. By exercising often, you’ll have more energy throughout the day. Exercise also releases the "feel-good chemicals" that improve your mood.

2. Follow a healthy diet
What and when you eat affect your mood and energy. Avoid refined and processed foods (like white bread, white rice, and sugar) as these foods are not only devoid of the nutrients your body craves, but they zap your energy levels and can cause depression, a lack of concentration, and mood swings. Try to incorporate more complex carbohydrates (wholewheat bread, brown rice, veggies, and fruit) and drink the required eight glasses of water. These healthy foods provide your body (and mind) with nutrients, and stabilise your blood sugar and energy levels.

3. Make your house brighter
The trick is to let as much natural light as possible into your house or apartment. Keep the blinds or curtains open during the day, and if necessary, trim any bushes outside your windows. Use bright colours on your walls and light-coloured upholstery. Clutter can also be mentally discouraging, so clean your room and house as often as possible.

4. Get your daily intake of vitamin D
Vitamin D is produced by the sun's rays on the skin, and the shorter, colder days in winter can therefore lead to a vitamin D deficiency. To ensure you get the required daily dose of vitamin D, go outdoors in natural daylight as much as possible, especially at midday and on brighter days. Inside your home, sit next to windows whenever you can. If all else fails, ask your doctor to recommend a vitamin D supplement.

5. Visit friends and family
The experts believe that socialising is good for your mental health and helps ward off the winter blues. Make an effort to keep in touch with the people you care about and socialise whenever you can, even if only for a little while.

Join the Medihelp MultiSport Club today!
We invite you to become part of the Medihelp MultiSport Club for runners and cyclists. You will get access to a host of information, including our weekly blog with useful training news, a monthly newsletter to keep you up to date about upcoming events and information about the Club’s activities, and great discount on your Club kit and Medihelp-sponsored events. To find out more, visit www.medihelp.co.za.

Sources:  www.sparkpeople.com, www.buzzfeed.com, www.wikihow.com, www.nhs.uk
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