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How Leicester Residents Can Beat the Blues When the Seasons Change

If you’re feeling tired, grumpy and an overwhelming urge to hibernate as the autumn days get shorter and cooler, you’re not alone. 

Many people experience a dip in mood and energy at this time of year.

But before you dive for cover under the duvet, here are some tips to help you deal with – and maybe even enjoy – the seasonal changes we face at this time of year.

Embrace the elements

“There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.” So said Alfred Wainwright, the famed writer and fell-walker. Take a leaf out of the Wainwright’s book by wrapping up in warm clothing and waterproof shoes and heading outdoors to enjoy the natural world. Exercise is a great way to boost the feel-good hormones endorphins, so walk briskly, run or cycle.

Daylight exposure

With the sun rising later and setting earlier, our exposure to daylight can decrease in the colder months. This can have a negative impact because our internal body clock, which determines when we sleep and wake, is regulated by exposure to daylight. Ensure you spend at least 30 minutes outside when it’s light to boost your alertness and mood.

Use a therapy light

These lightboxes replicate natural daylight and are more powerful than a standard lamp. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions (or speak to your GP) about when to use it, how close it should be to your face and exposure times.

Eat well 

If you feel the urge for comfort food, reach for healthy and hearty stews (a great way to use cheap cuts of meat) and soups. Packing lots of nutrient-dense vegetables into your home-cooked creations will also benefit your immune system and help ward off coughs and colds.

Dial up the Danish vibes

Take inspiration from the Danes and their concept of ‘hygge’, which is all about enjoying simple pleasures in a cosy environment. Add fluffy blankets, cosy cushions, scented candles and ambient lighting to your living space. Then kick back and enjoy your favourite film or music with an indulgent hot chocolate.

Ask for help

If you’re really struggling you could have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a form of depression. Visit the mental health charity MIND’s website or speak to your GP.

How do you keep your spirits up in the colder months?

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