How to boost your mood in the winterFeb 11, 2020
We know in the winter that the levels of sunlight decrease, our habits change as we hunker down indoors and also our eating habits can also change, particularly over the festive period. Find out my three big ideas to help you boost your mood in the winter.
1. Vitamin D levels
I spoke to our dry cleaner recently and she was telling me how her children's mood had really changed over the winter period. She had lost her 'normal' child. So I asked her what had changed and it transpired that in the summer they normally play outside and in the winter they weren't doing this as the weather was too bad.
I recommended that she consider vitamin D supplementation for her children along with a multivitamin - neither of which they were taking. This is recommended by the NHS. On asking her a few weeks later how her child was doing, she said she had her child back. So first big idea is looking at your Vitamin D levels. Make sure you top yourself up with sunlight and take a Vitamin D supplement in the winter period.
2. Exercise - to boost serotonin
Second big idea is exercise. In the winter our serotonin levels can drop. We typically address this by eating sugary foods and refined carbs, which makes us feel great in the short term, but over the long term we have a blood sugar spike and then crash and we need more and more to feel the same. Sugar is also pro-inflammatory.
3. Eat food that's good for your brain
Third is to look at your diet. Are the foods that you are eating helping fuel your brain? This is a huge topic in its own right and psychiatrists are only recently considering the role that our diet has on our overall mental health.
One of the important foods for supporting our overall mood is Omega-3. Omega-3 has been shown in scientific studies to reduce the symptoms of depression. Depression has been linked to increased levels of inflammation. Omega-3 reduces inflammation. You can get Omega-3 from fish, especially oily fish, as well as avocados and nuts. Get your Omega-3 levels checked and make sure they are optimised. Personally I like to take an Omega-3 supplement from BrainMD, as well as a multi-vitamin, Vitamin D and for particularly for my brain type, Every Day Stress Relief.
So what can you do to boost your mood over winter for you and your children?
- Optimise your Vitamin D levels through more sunlight exposure and Vitamin D supplementation
- Ensure you exercise to boost your serotonin levels
- Review your diet and make sure you are eating foods that support your brain health, in particular Omega-3 to help reduce your risk of depression.
Always consult with your physician before taking any supplementation or undergoing any changes to your exercise regime or diet.
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