5 Ways To Look After Your Mental And Physical Health This Winter
If there's anything we detest more right now than constant talks of Brexit, the ever increasing rent prices or Southern Rail's eternal engineering works, it's the solemn months of winter. Although it seems as though these long and cold nights have been going on for too long, unfortunately, they've only just begun.
Winter quite literally brings around dark days for all and it's safe to say that everyone suffers. Whether you genuinely are burdened with S.A.D, or just feel like you are, there aren't many people who don't become miserable, fed up and let's face it slightly chubby, over these months.
However, fear not, because we have devised some tips to keep yourself as healthy and happy as possible through this dreaded period. This is the time of year where self-care has never been so important.
Here are 5 Self-Care Tips To Stay Sane This Winter:
Lay off the booze
If there's one thing our culture represents, it's the love of a good drink... or seven. We do love a tipple all year round, but the winter can exacerbate unhealthy drinking habits. In fact, a recent news article in The Independent showed that colder countries drink more than their warmer counter-parts as alcohol warms up the body, as well as providing comfort on gloomy days and nights.
Instead of polishing off a bottle of wine in the evenings to soothe your winter blues, try opting for a hot chocolate or some flavoured teas instead. Even squash tastes nice with hot water and it's still sweet, but healthier and won't leave you feeling groggy the next day.
Take your vitamins
Through the lack of sunlight comes severe lack of vitamin D and most don't realise how crucial this little vitamin is until they're deprived of it. From feeling fatigued, being more at risk of getting sick and even experiencing depression, vitamin D deficiency is not a particularly fun experience.
So, as sunlight is the best source of vitamin D, try and soak this up as and when you can, getting as much skin out in those beautiful rays as possible. Whilst foods such as fortified cereals, egg yolks and cheese are good sources, your best bet is to get vitamin D tablets and take two a day for maximum effect.
Take activities indoors
Even if you're not active at the best of times, winter can cut down physical activity drastically. From getting a delivery instead of walking to that restaurant in town, to evening walks on the beach, all the cold makes you want to do is bury yourself in a duvet and never leave.
Getting yourself down to a local sports centre can occupy yourself throughout the long evenings as well as keeping your mental and physical health strong, especially through all the comfort eating. Rock climbing, kick boxing, badminton and yoga are just some of the fun and interesting things you keep your body moving this winter.
Catch the light when you can
As mentioned previously, getting the sunlight as and when you can will be great for vitamin D absorption. Not only this, but for your mental health, it's always good to get out in the daylight when it's there. At this time of year it's limited, and spending your whole day indoors before you realise it's too late is just going to make you feel glum.
At least if you spend some time out and about in the day, you can go home, get warm and settled and have a good nights sleep. Even artificial light can be affective, why not decorate your garden with fairly lights to cheer it up?
Keep your resources close
We've all been a victim of deceptive coldness: you're half way to work when you realise how freezing it actually is. So, it's a good idea whenever you're heading out to keep some extra articles of warmth in your bag, whether it be a scarf, some gloves or an extra jumper, you will thank yourself later. Moisturising cream is also good to have to prevent the cold air chipping your skin and lips. How about little hand warmers too? Just to go that extra mile!
Above all things it's best to continue your life as normal as possible throughout this chilly season, don't let this bitterness get to you, stay positive, warm and don't slide into toxic habits that will end up making you feel worse. And remember, Christmas isn't far off so it's not all doom and gloom...
Written by Becky Waldron
Thumbnail foto: Gala lights