With summer already a distant memory, it’s important to remember that this is the time of year that we can suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
It’s estimated to affect 1 in 3 people in the UK, and one of the main reasons for it is the lack of sun.
It’s important for us to maintain our intake of vitamin D, for the benefits it brings to the way we feel and our general mood. There are ways for us to maintain that summer glow even in the absence of the sun and warm weather. Here’s how:
- Vitamin D it up
Nutritional expert Geeta Sidhu-Robb, founder and CEO of Nosh Detox, says: “I cannot stress how important vitamin D is to our mental wellbeing. There is a reason other than the gleaming tans, that the warm summer sun puts a smile on our face, and that is the abundance of vitamin D it provides us with. Vitamin D is the most effective way to beat the blues.
“It plays a crucial role in disease prevention and maintaining optimal health, and a deficiency keeps a part of the brain, the hypothalamus, from working which in turn can leave us feeling sleepy, lethargic and demotivated.”
To beat deficiency you can take Vitamin D supplements, get outside whenever the sun appears and eat foods like cheese, egg yolk, orange juice, soy milk, cereals, tuna, mackerel and salmon.
- Get moving
As difficult as it is to get up and out when the weather is cold, exercising can do so much for your morale. Regular exercise has been proven to help with traditional types of depression, and SAD is no different. Staying active increases the production of feel-good chemicals that can help ease depressive feelings. You don’t need to run a marathon, but a gentle walk, fitness classes, treadmills, yoga will all help.
- Ask for help
SAD is a form of depression, and it’s vitally important to talk to people about the way you feel. SAD can leave you feeling extremely isolated, so it’s important to voice your feelings to those closest – who you know will do anything they can to help. Be sociable, exercise in groups and stay in touch with friends. Being around other people will improve your mood and reduce any feelings of isolation.
- Write down pessimistic thoughts
Rid the mind of pessimistic thoughts by writing them down at the end of a day. This will improve positivity upon waking up and the body will feel fresh and revitalised after eliminating the negative energy.
- Get steamy
Essential oils and aromatherapies can help, as they target the location of the brain that is responsible for mood control, sleep and hunger – steaming with an essential oil is a very relaxing way of utilising this technique.
- Crave carbs
Carbohydrates like peas, beans, whole grains and vegetables can help to regulate levels of serotonin, a mood regulator in the body, and so eating a reasonable quantity of these daily can raise spirits.
- Eat foods rich in Omega-3
Eat plenty of foods rich in omega-3 such as fish, walnuts, and flaxseeds. Eating healthily is an immediate mood boost as fatty foods make the body sluggish and bloated.