Beat the winter blues

Is it just me or does this winter feel like it’s going on forever? (Maybe it’s because the ‘cold snap’ they keep promising is coming to an end just doesn’t seem to be ending). It can be tricky to stay positive when it’s cold and the days seem short and dark but there are a few things that are guaranteed to help you beat the blues and keep your chin up until the welcome arrival of spring.

Get moving
Yes it’s tempting to wrap up warm and hibernate on your sofa for the weekend but even 20 minutes of exercise has been shown to have immediate effects on your mood – exercise releases endorphins (the same chemicals released when eating chocolate or having sex!). If you can’t face braving the cold – try an indoor workout circuit of 20 minutes of squats, lunges, sit ups and press ups. Check out the hundreds of You Tube workouts for inspiration.

Up your omegas
Omega 3s found in oily fish like salmon, mackerel and sardines have a strong link with mood (not to mention the amazing effect they’ll have on your skin, hair, muscle recovery and joint health). A really easy way to up your intake is to have one tablespoon of flaxseed or chia seed on your breakfast or salad each day. You could also try this delicious gluten-free Banana bread to get your omega fix:

http://tonguelashings.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/gluten-free-banana-and-chocolate-bread.html

Surround yourself with positive people
When you’re feeling a bit low, the worst thing you can do is surround yourself with negative people with negative energy. It’s not possible to choose your work colleagues or your family but if you’re in a bit of a low spot, try and spend time with your most positive, uplifting friends. Or pick up the phone and call your friend who’s guaranteed to make you laugh.

Last resort
Nothing beats the excitement you get when you’ve just booked a holiday! Even if a hot holiday abroad is out of reach at the moment, why not book yourself a night away in the countryside, or even just a day out somewhere you’ve not been before. Make it a digital detox and vow to not check your email or social media for the whole day. Pick up the paper, read a book or simply just enjoy the quiet time!

Ruth Tongue
Nutritionist, Health and Wellness Consultant

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