The winter blues and how to tackle them

Posted 09/12/2019 by E.ON

As the temperature drops and the nights draw in, it can be hard to keep your spirits up. If you're feeling down, you're not alone as around two million people in the UK are thought to suffer from the ‘winter blues’.

More severe sufferers may have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) which is triggered by the lack of sunlight during the winter months. But even if we're not formally diagnosed with SAD, we can all feel our mood takes a dip in winter, especially after the festive holiday season ends. 

But there are many ways to lift your spirits when the winter blues hit - here are a few suggestions.

 Light up your life

When it comes to SAD in particular, the NHS says that there are a variety of treatments, including light therapy, where sufferers use a special lamp (a light box) to simulate exposure to sunlight. It doesn't work for everyone, but more than half of those with the winter blues get a lift from using a light box for around half an hour a day through the dark days of winter. Making your rooms brighter by getting brighter bulbs or bringing more lamps into the room can also help.

Get a hit of Vitamin D

One of the main benefits of natural sunlight to our bodies is that it stimulates the production of Vitamin D, so taking a vitamin supplement may help top up levels during the winter months. Research also suggests that Omega-3 fatty acids can also help reduce depression. Omega-3 is found in oily fish such as salmon or can be taken as a food supplement.

Exercise and entertainment

Ensuring you spend time outside each day, exercising regularly and reducing your stress levels can all help lift your mood. The benefits of exercise for mental wellbeing through the release of endorphins are well known and experts say that even a 15-minute walk in the middle of the day can help.

Another way to put a smile on your face is to stay social. Group exercise and outings with family and friends can help boost your mood. 

You can also try taking a leaf out of the Scandinavians' book and focusing on the positives of winter – after all, they see even less sunlight in winter than we do. The Danish concept of hygge, for example, embraces the restrictions of winter. Danes see it as a period to spend time snuggling up inside, to see family and friends – and even to plan things for the future, such as your summer holiday. You can make sure your home stays warm and cosy all winter long by getting your boiler and heating serviced early on in the winter.

Win a winter holiday on us 

One of the more effective ways to combat the winter blues is to get away for a few days, whether it's an active break on the slopes or lounging on a sunbed by the pool.  

Right now, you can enter our prize draw to win a £5,000 holiday that could see you jetting off to get away from the worst of winter in the UK. For more information and to enter, click here

There are plenty of places within a few hours flight that offer reasonably certain winter sunshine, from Cyprus to the Canary Islands – and prices are often lower in the winter. Whatever it is you decide to do, a winter getaway on us will be a sure way to put a smile on your face and lift your spirits in the dead of winter. 

 

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