It’s not just the cold making us blue

October

The loss of the light evenings limits many happiness inducing outdoor activities to weekends. Once the clocks go back on the 30th it is dark by 4.36pm triggering our brains to make us sleepy and ready for bed when most of us work till 17:30 or later. Less exposure to sunshine lowers vitamin D levels increasing tiredness and adding to that “meh” feeling. Try these ways to boost energy and mood:

Walk for 30mins at lunchtime: Challenge the “I exercise in the evenings / at the gym” mindset and make the most of any sunshine on offer into the bargain.

Revamp your playlist: A University of Missouri study in 2013 showed that listening to upbeat music was helpful to those trying to lift their mood.

Get active: During exercise your body releases natural painkillers (endorphins) to ease any discomfort and increase our sense of well-being. Embrace Autumn with walks through woods of crunchy leaves or ice-skating at the rinks that pop up at this time of year.

Zzzzz: Being active means when it is time for bed we’re more likely to sleep better and give our bodies the time they need to repair, refresh and re-boot ready to seize the new day.

Do good to feel good: According to Action for Happiness “scientific studies show that helping others increases life satisfaction, provides a sense of meaning, increases feelings of competence, improves our mood and reduces stress.  It can help take our minds off our own troubles.”  Volunteer at https://do-it.org/.

Give something up by taking something up:  Displace boredom or loneliness on dark evenings with a new hobby or activity. Try http://www.bbc.co.uk/thingstodo/activities

Get social: We humans have a biological drive to be in relationship with each other. A 2014 University of Chicago report warned that lonely people are nearly twice as likely to die prematurely than those who do not suffer feelings of isolation. Look up family and friends or find groups of people who like the same things you do via https://www.meetup.com/

Eat wisely:  The wider the variety of foods in your diet, the more likely you are to get all the vitamins and minerals your body needs to function at its alert best. http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Goodfood/Pages/the-eatwell-guide.aspx

Seek support: Consider visiting your GP to be sure you are not wrestling with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), depression or a physical ailment draining your energy.

© 2016 Untangle Your Life Ltd

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