The reasons for 'winter blues' or Seasonal Affective Disorder are not always clear and the symptoms can range from feeling listless finding it hard to sleep and being a bit down to just a little out of sorts or worse.
The lower levels of sunlight mean we may be deficient in Vitamin D and our circadian rhythm comes out of whack which also leads to melatonin and serotonin levels being disrupted. So sleep times and energy levels and even hunger can be affected.
So there are some tips here, some super straightforward and free, to tackle this and buoy up your energy levels for the festive madness ahead.
1) VITAMIN D
First up a no brainer, keep that sunshine vitamin level really high now that there is not enough from the sky. I like the liquid spray as it is easily absorbed, perfect for kids and you can do a double squirt.
It boosts your mood as well as your immune system and is crucial for bone health. This is an every day one for all of us:
BetterYou DLux 3000 - Vitamin D Oral Spray - 15ml
The Kids version for 3 years and up:
Dlux 15 ml BetterYou Junior Daily Oral D3 Spray
And for the tinies, this is an infant spray for all babies form birth to 3 years old :
Better You D Lux Infant Vitamin D Oral Spray 15ml
2) LIGHT BOX THERAPY
There has been several studies done on the amazing effectiveness of using light therapy or phototherapy. 60-80% of people saw an improvement by using one just 15-30 minutes a day.
It's just a white box that you sit and read next to but it emits all that lovely light without the UV rays.
This Lamp to sit on your desk and treat you with light therapy, has been medically certified to treat Seasonal Effective Disorder.
SAD Light box 10,000
And then there are amazing alarm clocks that have light boxes built in so you get the light you need as you wake up, and start the day brighter, literally!
Lumie Sunrise Wakeup Clock
Or the fancier one with more settings and sounds to transport you to a dreamy place:
Lumie Bodyclock Glow 150
Have a read for more info on here, and the contraindications:
3) GET OUT MORE
Just take an extra step to be out in the open air a bit more. Any exposure to the daylight is going to be mood booster, and taking the time to make it regular can be all it takes. Walk to work/school instead of driving. Or get out to the park with the children even if its freezing. Everyone will benefit. And its free!
Wrap up and get out.
4) EAT THE BLUES AWAY
Often this is a time people crave sweet and stodgy foods, but if you can find a switch out then you might feel a whole lot better. Parking the unrefined sugars and carbs is a great idea. And there are some things you can add in to your diet that should help with the balancing of moods and energy levels.
Lots of dark leafy greens, nuts, fish and eggs will all keep your serotonin levels happy.
This 'Healing Foods' list is a great place to start, and most of my recipes on here and in my book have a lot of these ingredients in:
And try snacks like my Pecan Brownie Balls instead of a sugary biscuit packet:
5) SWEAT IT
Taking a little exercise regularly, even in the cold winter months, can be just the ticket to keep the happiness hormones coming and reduce the symptoms of SAD greatly.
Going for a run with a great playlist can be the answer. Or booking some classes at the gym.
If you;re like me that may not seem appealing in the dark winter months, and I like doing my workouts at home to save time and money. My favourite tv instructor is Tracy Anderson (been stuck on her for years now and she really packs in a great workout)
Look up her website as you can subscribe to all her classes or buy a set of DVDS.
A good intro to her Method is:
Tracy Anderson Perfect Design Series - Sequence 1-3
Her Post-Pregnancy is where I first became hooked after noticing amazing results fast. It is totally killer for pulling that tummy back in - but it's tough so be warned!
Tracy Anderson Method - Post-Pregnancy Workout
It can sound easier said than done but even by attacking a couple of those on the list you could make a real difference.