It’s winter and we all know the signs. The sun isn’t shining quite so brightly, the electric blanket has been plugged back in and those flesh revealing outfits now seem laughable.
Here are a few ways to lift your spirits during what may seem like an endless winter (without breaking the bank)
Whilst you may or may not go to the extreme of suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a type of seasonal depression, the cold weather and all it brings may just have a tendency to bring you down a bit.
Here are a few ways to lift your spirits during what may seem like an endless winter (without breaking the bank):
1. Get some sunshine
So it’s dark when you wake up to go to work and it’s dark when you leave to go home. This lack of exposure to vitamin D and sunlight means a confused body clock going all out of whack, a hit to the immune system and a possible decrease in the production of certain bodily hormones.
A brisk walk, or sit down when it is still light outside will work wonders in combating this, as may a sunny holiday or some vitamin D supplements. If you can’t afford a trip to seek out some winter sun then at least make sure you leave the office of a lunchtime to bask in what sunshine the UK manages to muster up.
2. Enjoy some warming food
Endorphins are those wonderful chemicals that produce certain pain-killing properties and a general feeling of well-being. One endorphin producing food is spicy food so why not warm yourself up with a few hot and tasty treats?
Spicy foods go a long way to stimulating endorphin release and the spicier the better so don’t be afraid to try out a new selection of curry recipes.
Endorphins are stimulated by Capsaicin, the active chemical in red chilli peppers so you can always add this ingredient to other dishes to create a similar effect. Whether you decide to spice up a traditional sausage casserole recipe (paprika is another good spice to add here) or prefer to stick with spicy favourites like curry, chilli con carne and fajitas, there’ll be plenty of opportunity to warm your cockles and enjoy the winter.
3. Get the blood pumping!
Another way to produce these feel good endorphins is through exercise. If you feel it’s too cold for an outside run, maybe go for a swim followed by a nice hot shower.
Even a run up and down your staircase or some star jumps in the living room go a long way to boosting your mood and encouraging your circulation.
4. Enjoy socialising
Humans are social creatures. We need the interaction of other people and the feeling of belonging to feel happy and protected. As the temperature drops it is easy to think about staying home and wrapping yourself in a blanket on the couch every evening but this could do more harm than good.
Try to make every effort to get out and about and spend some quality time with friends once, if not a few times a week and make memories that’ll keep you smiling through the cold.