The clocks have turned back, and at first, you relish in the extra hour’s sleep. But that feeling quickly evaporates when you realise it's pitch black by 5 p.m. The sky turns grey, the temperature drops and everywhere is damp. It only means one thing - winter is fast approaching.
The sudden change can make you feel sad in winter. In other words, your mental health in winter takes a complete nosedive. If you want to beat the winter blues, stick around. We have some winter wellbeing tips to tackle seasonal depression and lift your spirits over the dark months. Read on to find out how.
Take a Vitamin D Supplement
Vitamin D, otherwise known as the sunlight vitamin, is vital for your mental health in winter. But it’s hard to get enough through food alone, and you mainly get your supplementation from the sun. It’s one of the most problematic vitamins to get, and in the UK, 1 in 6 adults has a vitamin D deficiency.
Symptoms of a Vitamin D Deficiency
Here are some key signs that you lack vitamin D:
- Hair loss - A 2016 study shows that a vitamin D deficiency lowers cell turnover in hair follicles and slows the hair growth cycle. This results in excess hair fall and a lack of hair growth.
- Feeling tired - You need vitamin D for balanced energy levels, so if you start feeling sluggish, it could indicate that you don’t have enough.
Read more: 10 Evening Routine Tips for Better Sleep.
- You’re always ill - Vitamin D contributes to a healthy immune system. And while it’s normal to catch coughs and colds over winter, if you’re always sick, a supplement could help.
How to Choose a Vitamin D Supplement
Make sure you do your research when selecting a vitamin D supplement for your mental health in winter. Unfortunately, a lot of companies sell supplements that have little to no active ingredients. Our liquid collagen supplement contains vitamin D with no added fillers or harmful substances. But if you opt for a vitamin D supplement, ensure you consider the following:
- Avoid fillers and additives - Lots of companies pack their supplements with fillers, making the supplement ineffective and a waste of money.
- Ensure it contains vitamin K - Vitamin D helps absorb calcium. However, it requires vitamin K to distribute calcium effectively throughout the body without causing build-up.
Go Outside When It’s Still Light
Many of us turn into vampires over winter, avoiding fresh air at all costs and favouring blankets and endless coffees. And while we love a chunky knit throw, if you want to beat the winter blues, it’s crucial to get natural light.
The perfect time to emerge from your house or the office is after lunch. Your circadian rhythm has a natural slump in the afternoon. So, make a steaming cup of coffee and energise yourself by walking outside for as little as five minutes.
Walking gets your blood moving, circulating oxygen, giving you more energy and boosting your mood. The light gives you a dose of vitamin D, increasing your happy hormones so you feel less sad in winter.
Nourish Your Body
Winter sadness can make you feel lethargic and down. That’s when you reach for the chocolate for an instant dopamine hit and burst of energy. But, over time, this will make you feel worse. Sugary and processed foods spikes your glucose levels. Before long, they dramatically drop, leaving you low and irritable.
Instead, beat seasonal depression by nurturing your body and stabilising your insulin for consistent energy and a balanced mood. Here are a few of our health winter tips to do just that:
- Eat well - You use energy to stay warm in winter, and this can leave you with a constant feeling of tiredness. Relieve fatigue and create sustainable, long-term energy by eating nutrient-dense foods.
- Engage in gentle exercise - Instead of hamming it at the gym, take a moment to slow down and do restorative exercise. This could include winter walks or yin yoga for your mental health in winter.
- Take a collagen supplement - The Arella Beauty Liquid Collagen Supplement contains essential vitamins, including vitamin C. This crucial nutrient contributes to your immune system to fight off coughs and colds.
Read more: 7 Incredible Benefits of Collagen Supplements.
Winter was traditionally a time to slow down. The leaves fall, plants come to the end of their life cycle, and animals go into hibernation. But with artificial lighting and a fast-paced lifestyle, slowing down feels impossible. This can lead to burnout, causing you to fall ill and deepening the winter blues.
Instead of trying to maintain the energetic buzz summer brings, use nature’s signal to take things at a reduced pace. Unwind with our winter wellbeing tips:
- Journal - Use winter as a time for reflection. What are you looking forward to over the winter season? What negative thinking patterns can you release? What are three things you can do to look after your mental health in winter?
- Don’t pack your calendar - It’s crucial to socialise over winter, but avoid stuffing your calendar with activities that leave you exhausted and worn out.
- Practice self-care - It’s easy to sit in front of the TV, eating Fox’s Christmas biscuits as soon as they hit the shelves. But exercise self-care by taking a bath, reading or practising a relaxing hobby.
Remember to Socialise
Winter is a time for slowing down and taking stock after the busy summer months. However, many people stay locked away and don’t meet up with friends or family for weeks on end.
It’s vital to see others during the dark months to prevent loneliness. Socialising also lifts your mood, creates connection and can take your mind off anything worrying you. Here are some socialising tips to care for your mental health in winter:
- Meet at a coffee shop or pub - Go to the social hubs of coffee shops and pubs to have a drink and chat. Watch the rain run down the windows as you bond with friends and enjoy being out of the house. Don’t overdo the alcohol, as this can increase winter blues. Instead, drink in moderation or take up pubs on their alcohol-free options.
- Have dinner together - Invite your favourite people over for a cosy meal. Make it memorable by lighting a few candles and playing music to lift your spirits.
- Set up a film night - Don’t feel like talking much but want some company? No problem. Invite people over to sit in comfortable silence and watch your favourite films with hot chocolate and popcorn.
Improve Your Sadness In Winter With Arella Beauty
It’s okay to feel a bit down over the dark months. But you don’t have to struggle severely with your mental health in winter. Our collagen supplement contains vitamin D to balance your hormones and nurture your body. Use alongside these effective winter wellness tips for a healthy, happy season.
- How To Boost Your Immune System In Autumn 2023
- 7 Incredible Benefits of Collagen Supplements
- The Beautiful Benefits of Collagen for Gut Health
Written by Emma Carey for Arella Beauty.
Emma is a holistic beauty and wellness writer. She has three years of experience in the well-being industry and a Master’s degree in Creative Writing and Wellness. Check out her portfolio and follow her on Instagram.