Sometimes especially first thing in the morning in winter months, I struggle with my energy levels, I am normally a morning person when it comes to getting the most things done. However, during the winter I struggle with getting up.
I swear I suffer from the SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) syndrome. If you have never heard of this, it is when the winter months affect your mood, your mindset, your energy and your mental health. Some people get depressed, withdraw into themselves, struggle to get the day started, feel over tired, you get the drift…. Apparently over 2million people suffer from this in the UK and more that 12 million across Europe.
When it is summer I normally spring out of bed and into crazy action mode as soon as daylight hits the curtains, but in the winter it is a struggle for me to get out of bed in the dark, I feel tired, slouchy and no energy.
So what can I do about it?
- I really need to invest in a SAD clock or light box. I’ve heard that they help you wake up more naturally in the dark winter months. It works by gently creating a sunrise effect in your bedroom. So when you set your alarm, it will begin an artificial sunrise 30 minutes before the alarm is due. There are also clocks that have natural noises, such as birdsong, water etc. I know for me just the sound of the birds tweeting and seeing daylight will get me up in a much more agreeable mood.
- More importantly especially as I live in the UK, suffering from a lack of Vitamin D does not help with your energy levels. So from September to April I take vitamin D supplementation. Not only does Vitamin D help with bone health, it also helps with mood also.
- Walking – yes that’s right walking helps according to Seasonal Affective Disorder Association (SADA). They recommend a one hour walk in the middle of the day can help you cope with the winter blues.
- Eat Healthy – in the winter months you are more prone to eating stodgy foods and putting weight on, this doesn’t help the situation. So eat less carbohydrates and more fruits and vegetables.
- Get out and about into the sunlight as much as possible. This will help you feel much better, I know 🙂
- Take up a new hobby, one that will keep you occupied and stop you thinking about the dark days and nights.
- Get out there and see your friends and family more during this time. It will improve your mental health interacting with others.
- Seek help if you are really depressed about the cold winter months, it is better to talk to someone about it that suffer alone. There are support groups about, you can try and find one locally, or contact your local GP for more info and advice.
I hope you found this post useful, if you have any other suggestions and ideas on how to beat the winter blues, please leave a comment below to help others reading this post. 🙂
** Photo Courtesy of David Oakes https://davidoakesimages.wordpress.com/2012/04/26/a-dark-and-damp-day-in-cumbria/