January often makes many of us feel blue.. The magic of Christmas is over, your bank account is empty, your body has been fueled with beige food and alcohol for weeks – and as if that wasn’t enough, it’s cold, dark and miserable outside.
Apart from the psychological effect, when the post-festive season can bring a sense of loss after a busy social season, your body can also be suffering the biological effects of poor nutrition, lack of exercise and low levels of vitamin D, a vitamin associated with healthy brain function. Fewer daylight hours during midwinter often means less sunshine exposed on our skin, reducing our ability to synthesise vitamin D. It’s no wonder that January Blues can manifest itself as feelings of low mood and sadness, low energy, low libido, lack of motivation and anxiety.
Most of the time, the January Blues is just that – January blues – and you’ll find that as your routine becomes re-established you begin to feel better within the first couple of weeks of the month.
You can expedite this by following our January Blues Busting Tips:
1. Exercise outdoors – a double whammy blues buster!
During the winter months, we tend to stay inside more often and become less active. Exercise is particularly important at this time of year in order to keep blood flow circulating well, getting oxygen and vital nutrients to the brain to feed our neurotransmitters and to boost dopamine and serotonin – our happy hormones. Exercising outdoors, such as walking, jogging, running and other outdoor training sessions, exposes us to natural daylight and that essential vitamin D.
2. Eat the rainbow – fuel your body with the nutrients it needs
Think about the colour of the food you eat – we’ve already mentioned that you’ve probably eaten gargantuan amounts of ‘beige’ food over the festive season. Think sausage rolls, mince pies, chocolate, Christmas pudding, party food. Your body will keep signaling to your brain to keep eating until it gets the nutrients it needs, which is why you’re never satisfied for long when you fill up on ‘beige’ junk food. Nutrient rich foods tend to be naturally colourful, think fresh vegetables, avocados, peppers, leafy greens, oily fish. Eat the rainbow – and we don’t mean the candy Skittles variety! Avoid alcohol and try to give your body a break from processed food.
3. Treat yourself to a mood boosting massage
Massage therapy is a great way to relieve stress and boost your happy hormones! Research shows that massage reduces cortisol – our stress hormone, and increases levels of serotonin and dopamine. Sports Massage is a great way to soothe sore muscles once your New Year exercise regime has kicked in, meaning you’re more likely to stick to your exercise programme! Ditch that daily ‘Costly’ Coffee and spend what you’ve saved on a treat that your body will thank you for.
4. Think about boosting your system with good quality supplements.
Poor diet, lack of sunshine and winter colds and bugs all take its toll on our bodies. Think about boosting your system with a vitamin supplements. We recommend the Lamberts Healthcare range, which is trusted by Healthcare professionals for its strict quality and dosage controls and use of quality ingredients. We recommend extra Vitamin C, D and Omega 3 fish oils during winter months.
If your low mood persists beyond those first weeks and is accompanied with severe depression, not being able to function normally, it’s vital that you seek help from a qualified health professional, such as your GP. The condition may require treatment such as light therapy, medication or counselling.
At The Active Healthcare Practice we have a great range of services to help you beat the winter blues with outdoor exercise programmes, nutritional advice, massage therapy and we stock Lamberts vitamin supplements.
Call us on 01202 244723 or email email@example.com for more information