The 18th January 2021, also known as the most depressing day of the year, is slowly creeping up on us. Our experts have provided their top ‘pick me ups’ to help you beat not only Blue Monday but all of those dreaded Mondays…
Reach out to those around you
When it’s an overcast grey day we may feel gloomy and choose to avoid being sociable. This avoidance may lead to a spiral of negativity. Whilst experiencing prolonged winters and occasional low mood, reaching out and connecting with a friend can improve it instantly. If this is ‘too much’ then connect via text or email and arrange to call or have them call you.
Get a good night’s sleep
Sleep is a significant part of living a healthy lifestyle, and after a decent amount of ‘zzzs’ it can help you put things into perspective and manage your nerves. “Stress, sleep and anxiety are all related. If we don’t get enough sleep we can find it harder to adapt to challenging situations, and when we can’t cope as efficiently with stress, it can be harder to have a good night’s rest. “Magnesium is known as ‘nature’s tranquiliser’ and is needed to relax our muscles and nerves, which helps us fall into a peaceful sleep. To ensure you’re getting enough magnesium, try and include plenty of magnesium-rich foods in your diet such as, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, fish and leafy green vegetables.
Eat food that boosts your mood
In the depths of winter, there’s no doubt that you feel like stocking up on those comfort foods. Which is no surprise because our genes have a seasonal clock and that carb crave is just part of our seasonal physiology. Just like to so many animals that hibernate over the Winter, we too have that hibernate instinct. So, lean into those feelings instead of fighting them. Tune into your seasonal clock. If you need to eat to feel the comfort of Winter then this is not something to fight against.
Boost your immunity
There’s nothing worse than feeling ill on a dark winter day. Give yourself an immunity boost in the morning with Urgent-C (£14.95 www.provenprobiotics.co.uk) from Pro-Ven Probiotics. The product was designed to support our immune system and give it the support it needs; whilst also maintaining gut health with 5 billion of the extensively studied Lab4 friendly bacteria, which form a natural part of the human intestinal microbiome. It also contains contains 1000mg of vitamin C, along with vitamin D, zinc, selenium and beta glucans – which all contribute to the normal function of the immune system.
Don’t relate to Pathetic Fallacy
Just like weather, exercise has a big impact on mood and a little exercise goes a long way. It promotes the feel-good hormone, serotonin, that regulates mood, sleep and appetite. By taking a long leisurely walk or having a short burst of interval training, you can alleviate symptoms associated with depression and anxiety. It’s even more beneficial to exercise outside, even in the rain. Even walking on grey days allows UV exposure and regulates circadian rhythm and mood.
Struggling to budge the Christmas bulge? We all know that alcohol is an anti-depressant, so not only will Dry January help improve your mood, but it could also help budge the extra chub that you may have added on over Christmas. “Alcohol stimulates appetite so you are more likely to over eat. It also affects judgment and willpower so you are less likely to make healthy food choices. What’s more, it provides ‘empty’ calories that are readily converted into fat in the body” explains Dr. Sarah Brewer, working in association with CuraLin Diabetes supplement (www.curalife.com). If you’re too late for dry January, be different and try dry February.