warding off the
THE NATURAL WAY
It's now a beautiful time of year where the leaves are changing colour, mornings now have that crisp dew and who are we kidding...days are now often grey, temperatures have dropped and it's all a bit dull.
This time of year is notorious for causing 'the Winter blues' – yes its a
genuine thing and it might just be the reason behind any fatigue, or
general feelings of being 'down', you may be experiencing.
But it doesn't have to be that way! You can enjoy the lovely things about this season, it's all in the preparation...
There are many natural vitamins and nutrients that we get from the world around us including food and weather that help to perk us up, these can drop in winter as we don't get enough sunlight, exercise or healthy food (winter tends to be the season for comfort food).
A natural way to help beat the blues is through supplements and vitamins. A natural way to help beat the blues is through supplements and vitamins.
Here are a few things you can do to help you prepare for Winter...
First up is the wonder vitamin, vitamin D also known as the sunshine vitamin. We soak up vitamin D from the sun which means in Winter, when the weather is dull most of the time, we lack this happy vitamin.
Vitamin D can be gained through your diet but you would have to eat a whole lot of milk, eggs, liver and oily fish to reach the same levels provided by the sun. Instead you can invest in some vitamin D supplements, which mixed with a healthy diet and balanced lifestyle, can help to boost your health and your mood, win win!
We have all heard of Omega-3 and oily fish being essential to our diets, but sometimes it's just not possible to take in as much as is recommended to us.
Salmon is a great source of Omega-3, as are flax seeds and walnuts, which when eaten in moderation can help to boost your mood. If you prefer an alternative approach, supplements are available that give you your daily recommended amount of Omega-3.
Boosting your mood this way can combat the early symptoms of seasonal blues.
Folic Acid is found in a range of foods such as leafy greens, lentils, beans, oranges and some cereals. Folic Acid is what creates Serotonin (a chemical that produces the feeling of happiness), so making sure you increase your intake is always a good idea no matter what the season.
Magnesium helps to stabilise the production of serotonin and melatonin, both of which uplift your mood. Boosting your Magnesium intake in the Winter can help strengthen your levels of these happy-inducing chemicals. Supplements are a simple way to do this along with gentle regular exercise.
Vitamin B works well with Vitamin D to boost energy and support your nervous system. This vitamin can help relieve those feelings of fatigue and lethargy and can help put a spring in your step.
Aside from supplements and vitamins there are two vital things you need to be doing to ensure you keep the blues at bay...
That's right, sleep, it's a wonderful thing that most of us struggle with due to schedules, inconsistent routines, anxieties etc.
Putting together a sleep routine will work wonders, whether it includes a relaxing bath, reading a book or a gentle stroll, as long as it's away from a screen it will work.
The recommended amount of sleep is between 8-9hours per night and keeping it consistent. Try to go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time too, this will stabilise your energy production and help avoid pitfalls and extreme tiredness.
Gentle exercise can work wonders. You don't have to don your Lycra and hit the gym or run marathons, but a gentle walk, or jog, taking up a class or swimming will help your body produce more of the good stuff (serotonin, melatonin etc.) that will lift your mood. You'll feel productive and will be helping your health and fitness too!