Ok, so we might have Halloween, Bonfire Night and Christmas (hoorah!) to break up the tedium of winter, but with dark mornings and even darker nights dominating our weeks, it can be tricky to keep our spirits high. Having said that, it is a bit of a comfort to know that pretty much every other person that shares our rather dismal climate is in the same boat ― in other words, you’re not alone.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that affects an estimated 7% of the population every winter*; leading to sleep problems, lethargy, overeating, loss of concentration and anxiety. But whether you’re suffering from SAD or simply struggling with the shorter days and longer nights, winter can have a real impact on your moods and well being.
Letting go of the summer can be a hard task, so try surrounding yourself with photos from your holidays. It not only serves as a reminder of happy times, but also gives you something to work towards and look forward to.
It can also be tempting to hibernate during the winter and to put your social life on hold in place of nights in front of the fire; but socialising with friends and colleagues can seriously lift your mood. Try to organise a night out once a week with people from work, and spend your weekends having fun with friends and family.
A recipe for health
Taking vitamins and minerals will give your immune system a much needed boost — as will eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. It can be all too easy to rely on comfort food when it’s cold, but make sure you balance out the stodge with something nutritional; otherwise, your body isn’t going to be very well equipped when it comes to warding off the germs from all of those coughing commuters.
It’s also important to wrap up warm, especially when you’re going to work. There’s nothing worse than sitting in a cold office or on site, freezing for the best part of the day. If you work somewhere warm, wear plenty of layers so that you can take them off if you get hot.
If you do get struck down with a severe cold — or are unlucky enough to catch the flu — stay at home and get plenty of rest until you’re fully recovered. You might feel guilty for taking the time off, but going into work when you’re full of germs will only lead to more time being taken off by the colleagues that catch your illness.
Feeling under the weather can add to your blues, so take good care of yourself throughout the winter months and maintain a positive mindset even on those dark mornings.