It turns out, you may not be alone. Most people get a case of the winter blues from time to time. And the beginning or middle of winter can be one of those times.  

Some contributing factors that may be causing you to feel down during the winter months include: 

Changes to your biological clock

Less sunlight in the colder months can throw your body’s biological clock out of whack. You spend more time indoors and there is less natural light and fresh air. This can lead to feelings of hopelessness, frustration and despondence. 

Reduced serotonin

Serotonin is a chemical your brain produces to boost your mood. Less sunlight can cause your brain to produce less serotonin, which can contribute to more moodiness and sadness. 

Reduced melatonin

When the seasons change, the body’s ability to balance its melatonin levels can be disrupted. Because melatonin controls your sleep cycle, this can have a damaging effect on your sleep patterns, leading to mental and physical health issues. 

Here are some ideas to help fight off the seasonal blues. 

Light therapy is believed to positively impact the chemicals in your brain that control your mood and sleep. Placing a lightbox where you sit or work throughout the day can mimic natural light, bringing your spirits up and helping you sleep better. Speak to your doctor before investing in light therapy. 

Mindfulness meditation can help to increase melatonin production and serotonin levels, both of which can be very beneficial in improving your mood and sleep patterns. Try guided meditation, yoga or tai chi. GoodLife offers many Mind & Body fitness classes which can help to centre your mind and strengthen your body. 

Certain foods can work wonders on your mood and brain function. Lean proteins, bananas and dark chocolate are just a few food choices that can boost your mood and leave you feeling energized. 

Regular exercise is an excellent way to fight seasonal blues. It can increase serotonin levels, boost endorphins, and release other feel-good chemicals in the brain, which can elevate your mood. Not only that, but regular exercise tires you out so you’ll sleep better at night. 

Just because temperatures are down for a few months, it doesn’t mean you have to be. Embrace winter instead of hiding from it, and chances are you’ll feel more energetic and positive to enjoy the colder months.