10 ways to beat the blues and combat winter depression
-Jan 10, Jenny Paul, Mind -
Depression: It started with the Chrimbo Limbo, when people started to feel flat after the build up to the December party season, and now we’re all back to the daily grind many of us are feeling various shades of down – from fed up to downright miserable – now that the promise of New Year has faded and reality has set in. But there are lots of simple things that we can do to beat the January blues and sail into 2018 feeling full of excitement, inspiration and positivity.
Let It Go: Parents of under tens might wince when they think of Disney’s smash film Frozen because they have overheard it being watched at home by the kids so many times. But there’s a nugget of wisdom in Elsa’s somewhat overplayed song, ‘Let It Go’. Whether it’s in the office, when you’re out and about or when you’re being annoyed by loved ones – letting it go can often be the most powerful thing you can do. When you’re getting a tension headache try to take a few very deep breaths and go for a walk outside. Will whatever is getting to you matter in the long-term? – If it will, take positive action to change the situation, if not, let it go.
Damp January: If the thought of cutting out booze for an entire month fills you will dread, how about doing a damp January instead and just drinking at weekends but go alcohol-free in the week? Alcohol is a depressant, which makes you feel tired and anxious the next day – often making small problems seem far worse than they are. Cutting out the wine calories and replacing them with early nights and quality sleep is going to go a long way to keep your mood lighter.
Yoga: It’s official – scientists have discovered what many of us have known for years, yoga is beneficial for stress, anxiety and depression. Even ten minutes each morning can make a hugely positive difference to your day and some types of yoga heal your body more in one hour than four hours of sleep can. If you have never been before, perhaps try a class every lunchtime, or after work for a week and see how it makes you feel? But if you can’t face a group class there’s plenty of brilliant videos online.
Let There Be Light! – dark, gloomy days are enough to make anyone feel down. Plus the lack of natural vitamin D from sunlight is a major factor behind seasonal depression. When you’re at home make sure you have your curtains open and let as much natural light in during the day, try to get outside at some point – even it’s raining – and don’t forget to invest in a high quality, natural supplement that contains vitamin D. Don’t forget that certain essential oils – and non toxic scented candles – can lighten your mood instantly check out an expert aromatherapist’s guide here.
Self-Care – How many of us are so busy looking after others that we forget to look after ourselves? A morning and night facial massage, using Lumity’s all natural Facial Oil which is packed with healing botanicals and includes heavenly mood-enchancing essential oils won’t just improve your skin, it’ll help how you feel too. Make the time to book those dental and doctor’s appointments, and remember – if you’re feeling symptoms of menopause, depression or anger remember there is expert help available to you and sometimes just spending a day turning your home into a spa and giving yourself a bit of TLC is all that’s needed to make you feel fantastic again.
Me Time – Now is the perfect time to squeeze in time for you and you alone. Catch up on your reading list, plan a weekend away somewhere you have always wanted to go, or just lie in the bath and drink kombucha in a champagne glass. Here’s more ways to spoil yourself.
Spice It Up – Turmeric has been found by many studies to be more efficient than some medications for treating depression and there’s no upper daily limit on how much you can take. It’s versatile too – you can add fresh turmeric to smoothies, sprinkle it into almost all recipes and even add it to your morning latte.
Talk, Talk, Talk – When you’re feeling fed up, it’s easy to stay at home and binge watch TV on the sofa. But the absolute best thing you can do is call a friend and meet up for a chat. Talk therapy is hugely effective for helping ease depression and what can be more therapeutic than having a good laugh with a friend?
Leave Your Comfort Zone – There’s no better way to fire yourself up than setting yourself a challenge and then smashing it. Do something that scares or inspires you. Whether it’s a skydive, raising money for people in need or deciding to train for a half-marathon or a triathlon, sit down and start planning something that’s really going to make 2018 a year to remember.
Be Inspired – By now you must have watched the brilliant Oprah Winfrey’s Golden Globes speech. We have added it below in case you missed it. Powerful and inspiring, it’s reason enough to remind yourself that things can and will get better. Don’t like your job? – leave, fed up with your career – retrain, stuck in a rut you can’t get out of ? – don’t be. As the mighty Oprah reminds us – not only is change possible, it’s time for change.