During winter we are exposed to the indoors more than any other time of the year. It’s cold and wet outside, the days are shorter and we do less socializing. This can have an impact on our wellbeing and our daily outlook on life. I have met many people who suffer from SAD (Seasonal affective disorder, and it can be debilitating. It affects our eating habits, mood and sleep patterns.
SAD is also known as winter depression, it usually occurs in the coldest, wettest, darkest time of the year. This is when we spend more time indoors and luckily it goes away during the summer months due to more exposure to the sun. The reason for this is we are exposed to more daylight, which increases our serotonin levels, in our body, our happy hormone. Scientists have proven that a lack of sunlight is linked to low mood, and lack of serotonin, made by our bodies.
In winter we get up in the dark, work all day, indoors and arrive home in the dark. Most of us do not get enough time to get outside to get the sun exposure we need to create, serotonin. We feel glum, depressed and tired. We find comfort in eating and having pyjama days on the weekends. Now, don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with a pyjama day or eating comfort food, but too much of this can lead to feeling depressed!
So what’s the answer to this cycle. I suggest going for a lunchtime walk or sitting in the sun during your lunch break, to get some needed sun exposure. Fresh air is great for mind, body and soul! We come back to work feeling revitalised and energised, and ready to tackle the afternoon, whatever that may be.
Other ways to fit more daylight into your day.
- Park the car 15-30 mins away from work and walk in the sunshine.
- Ride a bike or take public transport and walk some of the way
- Go outside at lunchtime, and soak up some rays
- Go for a walk at lunchtime or break time to clear your head.
Not only will you get some fresh air, Vitamin D and lift your mood, you will also get some exercise, which can improve your health and fitness and reduce your stress levels. Start now, you will be guaranteed to feel good!
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