Sunday,17 December, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1235, (26 February - 4 March 2015)
Sunday,17 December, 2017
Issue 1235, (26 February - 4 March 2015)

Ahram Weekly

Entre Nous: Beat the winter blues

Let’s talk about better living! Our new interactive family corner aims to expand our lifestyle horizons with practical little pearls of wisdom from the editor and input from our readers

Winter is in full force, and as the days get shorter and the nights get colder even the best of us can get a little down. Yes, it’s true that once the seasons start to change many people suffer from seasonal affective disorder in the shape of experiencing mild depression, lack of motivation, or low energy. Therefore, you should arm yourself with high energy and a lifted mood to avoid these mood swings or the so-called “winter blues”.

Fortunately, if you follow these experts’ tips you can avert the blues and get yourself back to normal.

Go for a massage:
Take time out for yourself and get at least a 15-minute massage to reduce stress and anxiety; you can even use a foam roller for self-massage at home. Aside from relieving tension in your muscles, a relaxing massage can give you peace of mind, make you feel more alert, blissfully rejuvenated and of course happier.

Eat healthy food:
What and when you eat has a great effect on your mood and energy. Try to avoid refined and processed foods and opt for healthy meals instead. Whole grains, fruit, veggie meals and plenty of water will provide your brain and body with nutrients, stabilise your blood sugar and your energy levels to give you a much-needed energy boost.

Plan a vacation:
Instead of always avoiding the cold weather, plan something that’s exciting to you such as a weekend trip, a day at the spa, a party, or a sporting event. This will give you something to look forward to and, in turn, will keep your spirits high.

Maintain a consistent schedule:
People naturally want to sleep a little bit more during the winter. But with a little time management, and some self-discipline, you can resist the urge to hibernate. Aim for seven to eight hours of sleep each night, and try to keep your bedtime and waking time consistent. This will help you get a good night’s sleep and keep you on track with your healthy goals. Remember, productivity will make you feel good.

Do regular exercise:
It is human nature to want to stay warm and cosy at home throughout the cold days of winter, but if you want to relieve the stresses of life and have more energy head to the gym instead of curling up on the couch with a delicious cup of hot cocoa. Exercises release feel-good endorphins that boost your mood and help you burn excess calories and won’t leave you with a sugar crash later on.

Relax:
Even if you enjoy being busy, try to spend a few minutes each day doing nothing. Read a book or magazine, sleep in on the weekend, go to bed early, try some meditation, or take a yoga class. Relaxation, especially in the form of yoga, can alleviate stress and leave you with calm energy. Mental exercises like meditation and positive thinking can help keep depression at bay.

Let the sunshine in:
Just because the weather is chilly doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some sunshine. Try to spend a little more time outdoors because sunlight exposure releases neurotransmitters in the brain that affect mood. Similarly, a lack of sunlight can cause many to become depressed owing to a reduction in levels of Vitamin D, essential for improving mood.

Get social support:
Being antisocial can actually make you feel more depressed and alone. Don’t underestimate the power of friends, family, co-workers or neighbours. Getting outside to hang out, chat and laugh with your friends can bring you much-needed stress relief, put you in a joyous state and eventually brighten your mood.

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