Top tips for beating those winter blues
For some, winter means cosy evenings by the fire, brisk walks on crisp days and the festive excitement of Christmas. But, for up to 20% of us, it’s a slide into the winter blues with mornings becoming a losing battle with the duvet and the days a blur of caffeine and sweet treats to try to keep us going. For a few, it gets so bad that life is seriously disrupted with depression, lethargy and social withdrawal, symptoms that add up to a serious case of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
If that’s you, what can you do about it? Light therapy specialists Lumie have teamed up with VITL to offer six top tips for helping to keep you in shape as we go into winter:
Tip #1: Most of us know SAD is caused by the lack of bright light in winter; light therapy provides a level of light equal to the brightness on a clear spring morning, about five times brighter than a well-lit office. Just 30 minutes’ sitting in front of a bright light will banish SAD symptoms for most people. It’s also useful for an energy boost during the day.
Tip #2: Try a wake-up light like Lumie Bodyclock; a gentle sunrise comes on gradually, reaching full brightness when you need to wake up. The light suppresses the production of the sleep hormones and stimulates the get up and go ones so you find yourself waking naturally feeling alert and ready to get up.
Tip #3: Get into a regular sleep/wake routine that will help to keep your body clock on track. In turn making it easier for you to sleep well and wake refreshed. Establish an electronic devices curfew from at least an hour before bedtime – the blue light they emit is alerting – and use the sunset feature on Lumie Bodyclock to help you unwind before you sleep.
Tip #4: Top up on VITL. Zinc, vitamins C and D to help you stay well over the winter. Over 60% of the UK population is deficient in Vitamin D over the winter months due to lack of hours in the sunshine. To top up your levels it is important to choose D3 (not D2) the active form. Omega 3 from krill oil, is key in mood health.
Tip #5: Try to get out at lunchtime – even a 20 min walk will naturally boost your light exposure, reduce your stress levels and help you to maintain a reasonable level of fitness.
Tip #6: Beat the carb cravings by making sure you have to hand healthy snacks like seeds, nuts, and avocados that fill you up but release energy slowly helping to avoid the yo yo effect on your blood sugar of eating too many sugary snacks. Try to reduce your caffeine intake too, especially post lunchtime. Instead find a natural energy boost from VITL nutrient’s CoQ10 and B vitamins.
Standard statistics published by SADA, the Seasonal Affective Disorder Association: 2% of the UK population suffers from SAD, 20% from the winter blues