Shake off the winter blues!

Winter is coming so it's time to turn on the stove, bring out the scarves and never leave the house without a hat on. Apart from these cozy accessories, winter is a difficult time to stay motivated. Do you also feel less happy because of those cold mornings and because you have to go to and from work every day in the dark? You're not alone. 

With fewer hours of sunlight, colder temperatures and summer holidays still far away, it's a time of year when we feel indifferent or in a bad mood. 
For some it even goes further and they suffer from SAD syndrome. A Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a state of mind that is disturbed by the changing seasons. The problems with SAD can vary from a slightly tired feeling to a severe depression. It is assumed that it is mainly a lack of (sun) light that causes the symptoms. Spring and autumn fatigue are lighter forms of seasonal affective disorder and are accompanied by symptoms such as fatigue, lethargy and loss of concentration. People who suffer from winter blues or winter depression experience these symptoms during the winter period.

Whether you're going through a bit of a breakdown, want to change your routine or want to add some colour to your days, here are some simple tips to improve your mood this winter.

Go outside

It's cold outside, but that doesn't mean you have to hide indoors in the morning and evening. While it can be difficult to motivate yourself, getting outdoors and taking some Vitamin D at the beginning of the day can have huge benefits for your mood and general wellbeing during the colder months.

Start your day with a brisk morning walk with your dog or friend, or go out alone with a good podcast or your favourite music. Just 10 to 15 minutes in the morning is enough, your head becomes clear and you're ready for a productive day. Personally I also use a pedometer, this provides extra motivation while I try to release the endorphins as much as possible.

Let your body move

As soon as the temperature starts to drop, it's all too tempting to skip your weekly spinning lesson or fitness session. No matter how hard it sounds, sticking to your fitness habits is one of the best ways to ward off the winter blues. Why? Very simple, exercise makes endorphins and endorphins make you happy!

Find ways to be active 30 minutes a day, on the treadmill, a short yoga session or maybe something new yourself? The goal here is to find a routine that is pleasant and sustainable. It's wiser to find activities that you know you want to keep doing, rather than an intensive workout after which you have to recuperate for 3 days...

Find your favourite music

Let's face it, office life can be seriously disappointing. Making a killer playlist can do wonders to improve your mood and energy levels while stuck at your desk. Create your ideal playlists for every occasion.

Add healthy fats to your diet

What do salmon, nuts and chia seeds have in common? They are good sources of Omega-3 fats, which have been shown to improve brain function and promote mental health. The ingredients you include in your diet can have a major impact on how you feel for the rest of the day. So, what should you eat during the winter months?

Healthy fats such as fatty fish and nuts, cereals such as oats, leafy vegetables such as spinach and cabbage and fruit such as oranges and bananas.

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