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Don’t let the winter doldrums get you down – follow our five tips to win this winter.

 

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a thing. Really. A true type of depression, Beyond Blue defines it as “a mood disorder that has a seasonal pattern. The cause of the disorder is unclear, but it’s thought to be related to the variation in light exposure in different seasons…People with SAD depression are more likely to experience a lack of energy, sleep too much, overeat, gain weight and crave for carbohydrates.”

 

But even without a clinical case of SAD, many of us feel a touch of the winter blues. It’s harder to get out of bed in the morning, the cold air makes us huddle inside, we tend to eat heavier, sweeter foods and the colds and sniffles that plague family life seem to go on endless rotation ‘round the household.

 

If you’re feeling the weight of those winter clouds, try these top tips to power through the colder months. And remember, treatment and support for depression are widely available. If your winter blues are more than wanting to make a date with your doona and a hot chocolate, seek help from your GP or find out more at Beyond Blue.

 

  1. Lighten up

Exposure to sunlight is thought to release serotonin in your body – the happy hormone that lifts your mood and helps provide mental focus. Get up and going with a short burst of sunlight when you wake up – just 15 minutes will fire you and the kids up for a productive day. Take a quick walk or ride around the block, go out to buy the newspaper or even hang the clothes on the line – you’ll feel brighter and ready to take on the day.

  1. Sweat it out

Summer bodies are made in winter. We’ve all heard it, but the couch, the takeaway menu and the promise of a heated house on a cold winter’s night far exceed the appeal of the gym / bike track / netball court. But if you can peel yourself off the couch, you’ll get more than a workout – you’ll burn more calories in the cold, sweat out toxins, get exposure to Vitamin D if you exercise in daylight, drink more water and get an energy boost that the family block of Cadbury’s can’t match. Promise.

  1. Take green breaks

If you wake up when it’s dark, get home when it’s dark and work inside, you could go days without actually seeing the great outdoors. And this time of year is perfection in our ‘hood. Not for us the soggy, sleeting wash-outs of our southern sisters. Crisp blue days, glass-like oceans and moderate day temps make getting outside a great idea. Take your lunch break outside and take a ‘green break’ – it’s great to restore balance, re-energise and ensure you breathe deeply.

  1. Open house

Yes, it’s tempting to shut up the house, close the curtains and slide the windows firmly shut. But mould spores LOVE winter – a closed-up house, increased condensation from hot showers in steamy bathrooms, vaporisers and drying wet clothes inside create party conditions for these asthma-attackers. Open doors and windows during the day when you can, clean your exhaust fans and use them, and check the backs of curtains and blinds for tell-tale black spots, then hit them with white vinegar.

  1. Sip it

You might not feel like downing your water bottle in the colder months, but your body needs H2O more than ever. Flavour with fresh lemon or lime, sip herbal teas and add soups to your weekly menu. You’ll benefit from clearer skin, better digestion and improved concentration.

 

 

Courtney Robinson

Courtney Robinson  

Courtney Robinson is a Gold Coast mum, passionate foodie, whole foods recipe creator and personal trainer certified in holistic digestive health and nutrition. Follow @athletist_ or visit athletist.com.au for recipes, workout tips and training hacks.