Top five ways to beat the winter blues

January 18, 2016 at 9:39 am

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) – or more commonly known as the “winter blues” – affects around two million people a year in the UK. It’s no surprise when the days become shorter, nights appear darker, and the weather gets much colder. So, to help us through this often dreaded time of year, BIMHN has come up with five ways to help lift spirits and beat those troublesome winter blues.

1. Stay organised

Top five ways to beat winter bluesLarge amounts of stress and anxiety can be caused when things start piling on top of us. So, by keeping organised, we can attempt to alleviate any of this unnecessary strain on our lives. If you’re balancing a number of different jobs or have various tasks building up, we’d recommend creating a timetable of your week. Allocate days and time slots to certain jobs – this allows you to focus on one task at a time, and helps banish any feelings of work overload. Keep track of any plans you make in a trusty diary and for those busy days, make a ‘to do list’ – there’s nothing more satisfying than ticking off those dreaded tasks!

2. Allow yourself to have ‘off’ days

We can often give ourselves a hard time for having bad days, and not being able to get out of bed at a reasonable hour. “I shouldn’t be feeling like this” or “Why can’t I just feel normal?” can be some of the troubling thoughts running through our minds. But what if we were just to accept that it’s a bad day, and allow ourselves to feel ‘off’ish? Laze on the sofa, put on a cheery film, eat comfort food – it is okay to feel this way, and the feeling WILL pass!

3. Keep in touch with friends and family

Top five ways to beat winter bluesAs studies indicate, maintaining good social connections with friends and family can reap many benefits for mental health. Keeping in touch with friends and family reduces feelings of loneliness and isolation, and helps lift mood. Call a family member you haven’t spoken to in a while, or invite a friend over for a cup of tea – these gestures (no matter how small or large) can help you feel a whole lot better about yourself, and do wonders for your self-esteem.

4. Don’t expect too much from yourself

As human beings, we tend to put a lot of pressure on ourselves, whether it’s in our work or social lives. We constantly expect ourselves to be performing at our best – at ALL times! Pressure is particularly high after Christmas, when we feel that we have to adhere to ‘New Year, New You’. But when we don’t live up to the sky-high standards we have set, it can leave us feeling disappointed and judging ourselves harshly, which certainly does no favours for our mental health! Try to lower your expectations, and anything positive that comes your way will be a pleasant and lovely surprise.

5. Do something, every day, for YOU

Top five ways to beat the winter bluesWhen life gets hectic, we often forget about someone very important… ourselves! Put some time aside each day – whether it’s just a few minutes, or a couple of hours – to focus on that number one person in your life. Run yourself a bath, cook a healthy dinner, do some exercise, read a book, meditate – all of these things have nourishing qualities… It will be like giving yourself that nice, big hug you truly deserve!

January 18, 2016 at 9:39 am | Blog | No comment

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