Are you feeling a bit down in the dumps knowing winter is over? We have 12 great tips for beating those blues...
The school holidays are over, the days are getting shorter and your tan is well and truly faded - it's no wonder a lot of us feel those post-summer blues around this time of year. The euphoria of amazing holidays, bright sunshine and late-night barbecues makes way for rainy mornings, packed trains and a return to the busy monotony of our every day lives. Indeed, it's difficult to welcome this change with open arms.
If you find this seasonal change difficult to embrace, you're not the only one. It has been scientifically proven that we get sadder as the weather deteriorates. SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) is one of the most commonly diagnosed forms of depression in the UK. This is where depression flares up during the colder months, and this affects 1 in 15 people in the UK. Although the causes are disputed, it is believed we get sadder as it gets colder because of the shorter days and lack of sunshine, which stimulates the production of melatonin in the brain.
But just because the sun is fading, it doesn't mean our happiness has to and we don't need to lose that feeling of summer fulfilment and contentment. If you're feeling down in the dumps about the changing season, read on for our top tips for banishing those blues and embracing the beauty of Autumn and Winter!
Beat the post-summer blues: Get organised
You'll feel much better about embracing the new season if you get organised - both physically and mentally. Buy a new diary for the year ahead (you can get some smart August 2015 - December 2016 ones from Moleskine) or clear out your wardrobe for a fresh start. Having clear plans and a clear house will result in a clear mind!
Beat the post-summer blues: Plan your next holiday
You don't have to wait another whole year to have a break - plan another holiday to keep you motivated and excited. Whether it's a long-haul luxury holiday in December to kick those winter blues, or a romantic Paris weekend, knowing that a break is coming soon will keep you relaxed and your spirits high. Check out these fabulous longhaul luxury holidays, and the best locations for winter sun.
Give mindlessness a go
Although mindfulness is the fashionable new self-help to ward off negative feelings, mindlessness may be a better option in Autumn/Winter. 'The Power of Negative Emotion' (Oneworld Publications), written by psychologists Todd Kashdan and Robert Biswas-Diener, suggests that if we accept feelings of stress and anxiety as part of our emotional makeup, we can achieve 'wholeness' which will lead to greater success and fulfilment.
Try something new
You don't have to go abroad to have a little adventure in your life - you can also maintain that summer feeling by switching up the monotony of your everyday life. Try that new restaurant you always walk past, take a trip to a seaside town you've never been to before, or try a new hobby. Keep yourself busy with fun activities and trying new things, and you won't even notice that it's getting colder. Why not start a new series? Click here for the best of Netflix right now.
We all know exercise releases endorphins, which reduces stress and makes us happier. Although the thought of going to the gym in the morning while it's still pitch-black outside can seem depressing, you'll feel the effects after just a couple of weeks on the treadmill. Not only will you feel fitter and healthier, you'll have more energy and you'll be happier, too!
Store those precious summer memories by printing beautiful photographs and putting them all into a gorgeous album or a scrapbook. Getting crafty is a great Winter activity, and you can re-live those memories as you go - so it's a win-win! Load all your photos into this gorgeous Cath Kidston scrapbook.
Invest in a winter staple
You know what they say - 'retail therapy is the best therapy'! Get more excited for Autumn/Winter by investing in a staple coat or a fantastic pair of boots. Once you're strutting your stuff in your new warm gear, you'll be wondering why you ever yearned for Summer in the first place! For the best affordable winter coats this season, click here.
Eat lots of fish
As we lack sunshine in Winter, we're also lacking Vitamin D, which is essential to healthy bones and teeth. Foods like oily fish (think salmon, sardines and mackerel), eggs and fortified breakfast cereals are high in vitamin D, so they'll make up for your lack of sunshine. For delicious salmon recipes, click here.
Make a change
Summer is the time where we can take a break and really reassess our lives and reevaluate what's important to us. If you had an epiphany over the summer, the start of autumn and winter is a great time to put those new ideas into action. Whether it's changing career or moving house, use the new season as an opportunity to embrace the change that will make you happy.
Taking daily vitamins will combine with a healthy diet to keep you energised and healthy, which will help keep those blues at bay while it's chilly outside. An added bonus is the fact they really strengthen your immune system, which means your body will be well-equipped to ward off those nasty colds!
Maintain your tan
Winter can often leave us feeling a bit frazzled; our hair is frizzy from the rain, and we've lost that all important tan. To eliminate this frazzled feeling, you can put a glow back into your skin with an effective and natural-looking fake tan. Why not give St. Tropez shower tan a go? It slots nicely into your everyday shower routine, and creates a gradual, natural glow that'll look like you've just hopped off a plane from St Tropez.
Get excited for Christmas
Winter may be cold and dark, but it's not all bad! It's also a beautiful festive time of year. Christmas trees, nativity scenes and mulled wine - it's definitely a time to be joyous. If Christmas is the highlight of your calendar, get excited early and plan presents, decorations and get crafty.
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