In my last few articles I have been discussing how our mood often suffers at Christmas. Not only do we have the stress of organising gatherings with family and friends, buying presents and the cold weather to deal with but we also have an increased chance of catching the common cold or the flu. On top of this research has shown that the lack of sunlight in the winter months can lead to a type of winter depression called Season Affective Disorder (SAD). However, it’s not all doom and gloom. There are a number of things you can do to ensure your mood stays positive over the festive period. In this article I will be providing you with four top tips for improving your mood this Christmas.
1) DO SOME EXERCISE:- Exercise causes the body to release endorphins and serotonin both of which help improve your mood. So if you are feeling down at any time over Christmas why not go for a walk or head down to the gym? Not only will you be burning those calories away but you could also cheer yourself up. If you can brave it then try some of these winter activities. Otherwise read about my 6 Christmas exercise ideas to ensure that you remain active over the festive period.
2) WATCH WHAT YOU EAT:- The food you eat does not just affect the size of your waist. It can also affect your immune system and your mood. Therefore, try and incorporate these foods into your Christmas diet. Not only are they healthy choices but they could have a positive impact on your mood too.
3) GET SOME QUALITY SLEEP:- Getting enough sleep is important all year round but it is perhaps extra important over Christmas. Due to the lack of sunlight in the winter months it is often difficult to wake up in the mornings so you really need to make sure you are getting at least 7 hours a night over the festive period. Try to have a consistent bedtime which allows you to get a good amount of sleep and 30 minutes before this bedtime start winding down by turning off electrical items, brushing your teeth, turning out the lights and getting into bed.
4) GET A LIGHT BOX:- As I said at the start of this article winter can lead to a form of winter depression called SAD. For some people this leads to mild feelings of depression but for others it is a lot more severe. The cause of SAD is the low levels of light in the winter months. One way to treat this condition is to get a light box. You then sit two or three feet away from this light box for a couple of hours each day and you should notice improvements in your mood within three to four days.
Your mood is very likely to suffer over Christmas. However, by following the measures discussed in this article you can stay chirpy over the festive period. Exercise regularly, eat well, get your sleep and if necessary get a light box. Hopefully, this will lead to you having a happy holiday period.
Do you guys have any further tips? Does your mood ever suffer over Christmas? If so leave me a comment.
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