Seasonal Fatigue

With the clock’s changing, temperature dropping and the mornings getting darker it might feel noticeably harder to get out of bed. Many people feel tired and sluggish during winter.

The American Journal of Medicine found that patients with seasonal affective disorder (SAD) show a significant increase in irritability, depressed mood, anxiety and in turn of seasonal mood, energy levels, sleep duration, amount eaten, and weight change showed to worsen*. 

If you are self-aware that this might impact you then here are some energy-giving ideas that might help.

Expose yourself to as much light as possible

Lack of sunlight triggers your brain to produce more of a hormone called melatonin, which makes us sleepier. As soon as you are up open your blinds and let natural sunlight into your home. 

Continue or increase your activity outdoors

Get outdoors as much as possible. Stimulate your circulation by taking a walk in the fresh air. Making sure you get sunlight in winter will release serotonin in our bodies and prevent Vitamin D deficiency. Try to take breaks for lunchtime walks, make your working space light and airy. 

Stay hydrated

In the hotter months we pay more attention to staying hydrated. Remember to drink plenty of fluids when the weather is cooler. Not drinking enough water can slow down your metabolism and make you feel tired. The central heating also dries out your skin. 

Get a good night sleep but don’t snooze for longer 

Sleeping too much will enhance feeling sluggish during the day. We need the same amount of sleep all year round so aiming for 8 hours of undisturbed (sorry parents) sleep is usually adequate. Trying to get up at the same time every day also helps with energy levels. Make sure your bedrooms is a relaxed space, no clutter or blue light. 

Get regular exercise

It’s harder to motivate yourself to exercise during the colder months. Exercising in the late afternoon can help reduce early evening fatigue and also improves your sleep. There are so many exercises available online and a great chance to try something new. Most important make sure it’s something you enjoy otherwise you won’t stay consistent with it! 

Transition your diet

It’s important to adjust your diet with the seasons. Focus on vitamin-rich and seasonal meals that strengthen your immune system and eat good mood boosting foods. These can include seasonal vegetables, fish, eggs, warm meals that nourish your body and mind. 

If you have a sweet tooth, you’ll find it tempting to increase your sugar intake. This might give you a short energy rush, but it will wear off quickly. Find some healthier alternative treats that will keep you fuller for longer but satisfy your sweet tooth. 

Listen to music

Music is a great way to boost your mood. Studies show music has a link with positive effect on your mental health and stimulates the production of the “feel good” hormone serotonin. 

*Note: if you feel you are suffering with SAD please consult your GP.

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