If you are anything like me you may get a little bit depressed come the winter months. There could be many underlying factors for feeling low mood, not wanting to go out and socialise or generally feeling pretty crap to be honest. This blog is not to identify the reasons to why one gets depressed although I will touch on a few relating to feeling gloomy and the winter.
Firstly one thing that we all need to acknowledge is that you can make yourself feel better. Yes this is true for many of us. Whether this may be looking at your nutrition via the foods you eat, your vitamin D levels, your omega 3 fatty acid intake and B vitamin status not forgetting your sun exposure.
SAD or seasonal affective disorder is a type of depression that comes and goes in a seasonal pattern according to the NHS.
Symptoms of SAD are:
Over eating especially carbohydrates or craving carbohydrates
Loss of energy
Lack of motivation
Women are more prone to SAD. The decrease of light levels during the winter months seem to be the key player in SAD. Some people get SAD when the day lights are short and the sun stops shining. Well it never quite shines as bright as the mediterranean in England but we still get some sun when it decides to come out.
Follow a nutrient dense diet. Eat foods that agree with you and that don't cause any reactions whether it be mood or physical.
Eat the rainbow! Yes you read it right. Incorporate 7-8 portions of fruit and vegetables into your diet everyday!
Eat fatty fish or if you are a vegetarian or vegan ensure you have vegetarian sources of omega 3 fats these can be soya beans, leafy greens, walnuts, hemps seeds, chia seeds and flax seeds.
Eat good fats such as extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil and grass fed butter.
Eat Grass fed meat, poultry and game for protein. If you are vegetarian eat tofu, beans, lentils and nuts and seeds for protein.
Drink water and herbal teas to stay hydrated.
Get outside. Especially when the sun is out! Expose your skin and vision to the sun.
Get moving. Exercise is excellent to elevate a crappy mood.
Purchase a full spectrum light and, position it so the light hits your eye about 3 feet away.
Ensure you go to bed at a reasonable time and get up in the morning.
Get your vitamin D levels checked and if you are low or deficient supplement with Vitamin D3.
Finally you may be wondering why I posted a picture with lots of cut wood. Well I made myself feel good today by getting out in the sun on a cold day and chopped some wood for the fireplace. The more I chopped the more energised I felt hence this had an impact on my energy levels and mood.
There is a strange pleasure that is attached to chopping wood. The feeling you get when you hit the log with the axe and the log splits in two. I like that feeling it is like instant feedback, gratification and oh yeah I can do this. Like feeling strong and worthy, having a purpose, feeling like you are Rombo for moment.
Than I brought some of the chopped wood in and lit a nice fire and had a tea and was able to put my concentration to my work.