Are you suffering from “winter blues”, try these 5 tips to help lift your mood.

Exercise

The simplest means of beating the winter blues is to stay active, even when it’s dark and cold. Research has shown that even 15-minutes in the middle of the day is enough to help energise the brain and regulate circadian rhythms. If you can exercise earlier in the day, absorbing natural daylight, it will be even more beneficial.

Get into the right mindset

Embrace winter as a time to slow down, enjoy being at home, and spend time inside with friends and family. You can also improve your mood by using this time to plan things to look forward to later in the year.

Eat complex carbohydrates

Greasy, refined carbohydrates such as pizza and garlic bread give you short-term pleasure, but will make you feel more sluggish over the winter months. More complex carbohydrates, such as broccoli, spinach, courgettes and lentils take longer to digest, meaning they don’t cause the sudden spikes in blood sugar that can play havoc with your mood.

Take fish oil and vitamin D supplements

Vitamin D plays a role in regulating mood, maintaining optimum blood sugar levels and boosting our immune systems, but one of the main natural sources of vitamin D is sunlight. Omega-3 supplements may also be beneficial. Omega-3s are thought to exert an antidepressant effect by improving the functioning of cells in the brain and blood.

Meditate

Mediation relaxes the body and mind through stimulating the release of the hormone melatonin, meditation can lead to increased activity in the left prefrontal cortex, a part of the brain associated with happiness, and decreased activity in brain regions linked to stress.

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