Feeling a bit low with the arrival of the darker nights is very common, but there are some easy ways to put a spring back in your step.
Not feeling quite yourself since we said goodbye to the summer? You’re not alone. While every winter we arm ourselves with medication to tackle winter colds and coughs, one ailment we might not be quite as prepared for is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) – also known as the winter blues.
Thought to affect around one in 15 people in the UK between September and April*, Seasonal Affective Disorder is a form of depression related to the change in seasons, especially at this time of year. The symptoms include low energy, feeling lethargic, difficulty sleeping, anxiety, mood changes, poor or changed appetite and a weakened immune system.
It is directly linked to a lack of sunlight brought on by the shorter days, especially once the clocks go back. The good news is that there are lots of simple ways you can get in control of SAD and be happier and healthier this winter.
Make a conscious effort to get outside and soak up some fresh air at least once a day. Wrapping up for a nice, long stroll or even just leaving the car for a walk to the shops could do you the world of good, as exercise is another great way of bolstering your mood against the winter weather.
Midday is a good time to get out as the sun is likely to be at its strongest. Think about having your breakfast in the garden on sunny days or eat by the window to feel the benefits of the sunlight first thing.
Get your 5 a day
What you eat at this time of year is important too. Pile your shopping trolley with lots of fruit and veg to help fill you with virus-fighting vitamins as well as giving your mood a boost. If you have time, cook up and freeze a batch of homemade soups, packed with seasonal veg, to warm you up and lift your spirits on the darker, winter days.
Light up your life
One of the best ways to make up for the lack of sunlight at this time of year is to make your own. SAD lights artificially recreate sunlight and can trick our brains into making us feel better. Ideal for home or away, SAD lights are a really convenient way of alleviating the winter blues with a quick burst of light a day. With a light intensity of over 10,000 lux they are a great stand-in for the sun and can be used both to treat and/or prevent the effects of SAD.
We love this Bright Light Mini SAD Light Box, £59.99 (or £49.99 with VAT relief), available at betterlife.co.uk, which is perfect for seeing off the winter blues. It provides an hour of treatment at a time and is portable for taking with you wherever you go.
For more information and advice visit your local LloydsPharmacy. To shop the full Betterlife range call the team today on 03303 335582 or shop online at betterlife.co.uk