Every winter I always suffer a bout of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), where I lack motivation to do anything and just feel a bit ‘meh’, during the colder months. As much as I love Christmas and the festive season, once that is over, I always suffer with the ‘January Blues’. I hate the cold and the fact it’s dark when I leave for work and dark when I come home, there’s nothing worse.
I love the summer and thrive in the warmer months (I’m sat patiently waiting for spring to arrive as we speak), but throughout the winter I’m the opposite. I know a lot of people suffer with SAD and it isn’t uncommon, so I thought I would share with you some of the ways I’m picking myself up on these cold dreary days!
Eat Well and Get in Your Vitamins
This might sound like an obvious one, but becoming deficient in certain vitamins can heighten SAD, particularly Vitamin D (the vitamin we get from the sun). These are really easy to pick up from your local supermarket and I personally find they always give me the extra boost I need. Along with this, winter is the time of year where everyone is ill, office sickness is rife and you’re lucky if you manage to avoid it! Every morning I take a Berocca Supplement in my water, not only does this give me a great boost of energy but it also gives me that extra hit of Vitamin C to help keep my immune system strong.
Iron is also particularly important; I was recently diagnosed with a B12 deficiency, which probably explains why I was suffering particularly badly with SAD this year. B12 is more or less a type of anaemia, but worse. So this was contributing to my lethargicness and low moods. Keeping your iron levels up is easy, although I’m on prescribed tablets, iron supplements are super easy to get over the counter and is also found in red meat and green veg!
As much as vitamin supplements are great, I always encourage that we try out best to get our vitamins from our food. So making sure you have a good diet in the winter is also a great form of self-care and another way to combat SAD!
I always struggle to come back to work/university after the Christmas break, mainly because I’ve been looking forward to the festive period for so long, and now its gone! I always find making plans for the next few months ahead instantly puts me in a better mood! I recently booked a trip to Amsterdam with Martin for February, which I’m so excited for! Although the winter is a dreary time, a New Year always presents itself with lots of opportunities and plans, so utilising this is a fab way of brightening my January!
Get in that Exercise
It’s no secret how much I love my exercise, there is nothing I love more than getting out for a run, clearing my head and just being alone for a while. Exercise releases endorphins which contribute to your happiness, so the more exercise you can get in, the happier you’ll be! Understandably, not everyone can just go out and run 10k off the bat, but even getting out for a brisk walk will make the world of difference!
Schedule in ‘Me Time’
Nothing beats a chill evening to yourself and an evening of self-care is normally exactly what I need to pick my mood up when I can feel it dropping! For me a typical pamper evening would consist of coming home from work and either going straight to the gym or for a run, coming back for a good bath with a nice smelling bath bomb (normally lush), popping on some fresh fake tan, and reading a good book or watching my favourite TV shows, normally Friends, with a good old cuppa!
January can be a hard time for us all, what are you doing to keep yourself upbeat?!