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Pep yourself up this winter


Written by Neha Chandna - Dietician, Nutrition Educator, Exercise Counselor with an M.Sc. in Dietetics and Food Service Management from SVT. She has worked with corporates such as HDFC and Standard Chartered as well as BPOs and MNCs on the Right ways of eating and living!

We love the onset of winter after the bright, scorching pre-winter heat. The cool breeze, night chills, warm clothes, hot spicy food, etc. makes us love the winters all the more. But many of us also come across this sudden low feeling called winter blues as the winter progresses, also known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD). It makes us low on energy, irritable, depressed, sluggish, tired, sleepy etc. This mainly happens due to lack of exposure to sunlight during winters, which affects the circadian rhythm and a drop in serotonin levels (mood elevators).

But you can work towards improving your mood and overcoming SAD. There are lots of ways to do it:

  • Get more sunlight: With whatever sunlight available, try to get the most of it. Take a sun bath in the morning; sit close to your windows at home or work and keep your window blinds open during the day to soak up more sunlight.

  • Find your calm: During this transition, there will be a few things that can make you feel grounded and secure that there is something you can count on. It can be '5 deep breaths making you feel relaxed' or 'chanting Om 5 times to feel reconnected to your inner self', etc. Try and find that one thing.

  • Go out: When you feel low, try diverting your mind by setting out. Take a leisure stroll, especially during the daylight. This can help change your mood.

  • Exercise: This is a proven remedy for depression. A good 30-minute exercise can help a lot in overcoming mood swings. The release of endorphins (happy hormones) after exercise is a saviour during winter.

  • Meet fun people: The best way to improve your mood is to catch up with people who make you happy, energize you, and help you forget your issues. This can immensely help lighten up your mood.

  • Add colour around you: Colour therapy always works wonders. Try making your boring winters a little more colourful. Add some colourful decor pieces at home, decorate your house with fresh flowers, wear some bright coloured clothes, etc.

  • Eat natural foods: Fruits, salads, nuts, sprouts are all foods which are alive with enzymes and nutrients. These help your hormones to work in sync and help you feel energetic, active and happy. They cleanse your body, mind and spirit.

  • Sleep like a baby: Lack of sleep can make you edgy and glum. The best way to fight winter blues is to sleep well at night to wake up fresh. Avoid excessive sleeping during the daytime as it can hamper your night's sleep. A cat nap during the day should be good.

  • So get ready for a power-packed, super happy winter.