It’s cooler, it’s darker and sometimes you wonder if you’ll ever get a chance to get outside and enjoy the sunshine. This time of year can really get you down — leaving you feeling tired, sapped of energy and even low in mood. Today I want to share with you some simple tips for beating the mid-year blues…
The mid-year blues are a real thing, particularly when we’re so used to enjoying the warm, sunny climate in Australia.
It’s called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and it can affect people during the change of seasons. The reason? Less sunlight can impact your circadian rhythm — the body’s biological clock that controls certain brain activity and hormone production, leading to tiredness and even depression.
So how do you beat the winter blues? Here are a few ways you can bid them goodbye.
1. Get up and greet the day
While it can be tempting to stay in bed on a cold winter’s morning, oversleeping can actually make you more tired. Whatever the weather, promise yourself that you’ll get up, get outside and breathe in the fresh air. It’s a small step, but it’s the first step in making the most of each day.
2. Make exercise part of your routine
Our exercise routines can often get thrown out the window at this time of year. The daylight hours shrink and excuses like ‘too dark’, ‘too cold’ and ‘too wet’ start to creep in. Exercise provides your body with endorphins that make you feel happy, reduce stress and improve your sleep. The trick is to find an exercise that you can do whatever the weather — it might mean joining a gym for the winter, walking on a treadmill, or trying group exercise like pilates or yoga. Whatever you do, make a routine and stick to it. You’ll feel the benefits in no time!
3. Eat mood-boosting foods
It can be tempting at this time of year to overdo it on the chocolate, but it pays to remember the sugar high never lasts. What you eat actually plays a vital role in how you feel. If you’re looking for a mood boost, whole foods are where it’s at. My top three are:
Brazil nuts are a wonderful source of the mineral selenium, which has been shown to help with depression, anxiety and tiredness.
Oily fish is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which has been linked to lowered levels of depression and mood disorders. Try sardines — a great brain food which improves mood by keeping brain cells flexible, so your neurotransmitters can work more effectively.
Spinach — and other green leafy vegetables — are rich in B vitamins, which is essential for serotonin production. Keep your levels of folate, vitamins B3, B6 and B12 up by adding a cup of cooked spinach to stir-frys or soups.
4. Take a Vitamin D supplement
Vitamin D is essential for healthy moods, so it’s crucial to make sure you’re getting enough. Most of our vitamin D intake comes from the sun which is why it’s surprising that 73% of Aussies are actually deficient. You can boost your vitamin D by eating oily fish, egg yolks and mushrooms. However, you might find it more appropriate for your lifestyle to take a high-quality Vitamin D supplement. You can read more about why Vitamin D is so important for your health on our blog.
5. Surround yourself with positive people
It’s a lot easier to be happy when you surround yourself with positive people. This rings even truer in the cooler months when you’re spending a lot of time inside with people chatting over a cuppa. One study has shown that when you hang with happy people, you’re more likely to be happy yourself. Another study has shown that depression could even be contagious when our social environments are in flux.
6. Be kind to yourself
You might start the year full of good intentions and resolutions, but by mid-year, it can feel like the year has escaped you and you’re not where you wanted to be. Don’t beat yourself up if it’s taking a bit longer to achieve the goal you set at the start of the year. Life can be hard — be kind, show yourself compassion and reassure yourself that you’re on your way.
If think you might be struggling with depression, it’s important to seek help. Call us to book a free 15 minute chat with a Naturopath on 4961 4075.
Have you been living with a health condition for years that hasn’t responded to conventional medicine effectively? Or are you simply not feeling your best?
Click here to download our free guide with tips and steps you can take to feel well again, naturally. This guide covers everything you need for healthy living – diet, sleep, stress and supplements.