Experts

Feeling unmotivated in winter? Here are expert tips to lift your mood

22 Oct 2021

“As the weather gets colder and the days get darker, here are a few tips I have found helpful to maintain a positive mindset throughout the winter!”


AN EXPERT ARTICLE BY MYSOMERTON’S PERSONAL TRAINER ZOF OLSZOWSKA

TAKING VITAMIN D

Research has shown that vitamin D can play an integral role in regulating mood and warding off depression. The body creates vitamin D from direct sunshine on the skin. People living somewhere where the days get darker earlier will get less vitamin D. I take vitamin D supplements, but you can also get it from oily fish, egg yolk, red meat and fortified foods, such as cereals.

Tips: If you are going to take supplements, make sure you check the amount you take as it can be harmful if you overdo it.

Recommended daily dose: 10 μg or 1,000 IU

LIGHT THERAPY

I do this most mornings if I am feeling particularly down. I was recommended this by my psychiatrist, and they are very easy to get hold of. I bought my light therapy lamps online and do it for 15 minutes whilst doing makeup or eating breakkie. These light lamps help release melatonin (the hormone that your brain produces in response to darkness). Again this is a way of exposing yourself to more light because it mimics natural light which we lack in the winter. It is also recommended for those who suffer from SAD (seasonal affect disorder).

Tips: If you buy one, make sure you research it first and do not look directly at it, as it could damage your eyes.

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EATING A BALANCED DIET

In the winter it is easy to slack on your diet because it is cold and you want comfort food (or at least I find that). But making sure you gain all those key nutrients is very important for your brain function and of course mental well-being. Make sure you are getting a good source of the essential vitamins and minerals you need each day. This will also keep your immune system strong and help reduce getting ill during winter.

Tips: Do not forget to stay hydrated!

MAINTAINING A ROUTINE

Personally this is something that really affects me if I let it slip. Having a routine is so important because it gives you a purpose each day and something to wake up to and achieve each day. Of course it is easy to stay in bed when it is dark and rainy, but it is a tough habit to break and will only increase feelings of depression and lacking self-confidence if you let it go too far. Even if it is as simple as getting up, showering, putting on proper clothes, going on a walk and seeing a friend in the afternoon, then you have done something with your day! Obviously if you have a job then you will do this anyway, but on days off make sure you keep yourself busy!

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