The New Year is firmly here but the lull between the festive season and the energising feeling that spring brings, can leave us feeling a little flat.
Need some of the feel-good factor?
Here are our tips for beating the February blues.
1. FEAST ON FISH
Oily fish to be precise! Follow the lead of the Icelandic who, despite living in almost constant darkness for the long Winter months have surprisingly low incidences of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Not a fish fan? Top your levels up with a daily fish oil supplement or flax oil if you are vegetarian.
2. GET ACTIVE
Regular exercise boosts serotonin levels – the neurotransmitter in the brain that makes us feel relaxed and happy. So if you want to lift flagging spirits, get up and out doing something active that you love!
3. GO WITH THE FLOW
We naturally turn more introspective during the colder months, so sometimes it’s good to hole up. Do like the Danes and indulge in some hygge. Create your own cosy space, add a candle or two, choose a good book and just enjoy the good things in life – your soul will feel truly nurtured.
4. DON’T BE A CARB JUNKIE
Sugar might give you an instant lift but ditching the sweet stuff actually leads long-term to a more even mood. If a sweet tooth is your nemesis, try taking extra chromium. And if you often feel the afternoon slump, go easy on the carbs at lunchtime.
5. GOOD MOOD FOOD
Increase your intake of tryptophan rich foods such as turkey, chicken, avocado, cottage cheese and bananas. Tryptophan is an amino acid building
Stress can be addictive. The hormones our body produces when we are stressed give us an edge, sharpening the brain, and readying us for action, that is until we crash when we finally stop – or something stops us and we drop like a stone. Sounds familiar? Want to get off the stress wheel you have found yourself on?
Put in some support with rhodiola rosea. Known as arctic root, this adaptogenic herb supports your adrenal glands which produce your stress hormones. Then think about what you can do to reduce your stress levels – walking, yoga or just factoring in some time to yourself are all fantastic stress busters.
If your batteries feel like they are running on empty it might be time for a recharge Follow these rules and you’ll soon be feeling back on top.
BREAKFAST LIKE A KING
– don’t skimp on the most important meal of the day
– fuel your body and brain after its overnight fast
– yawning can be a sign you are dehydrated
GET ENOUGH SLEEP
– don’t burn the candle at both ends
LOSE THE SUGAR
– enough said!
STILL FEELING WEARY?
Add in some B vitamins which are required for energy production in the body or try some tyrosine before breakfast – perfect for giving your brain some get up and go.
AND SO TO SLEEP
Good sleep is vital for both body and mind, allowing the body to carry out its healing and repair, regulating appetite and enabling the brain to process its day. Let’s face it we don’t function particularly well without it. If you struggle to nod-off, try extra magnesium to help you wind down – this can be particularly helpful if you have tension.
Finding yourself suddenly awake in the wee hours can be a sign that your blood sugar is out of whack and dropping too low overnight, triggering adrenaline release. Try adding chromium at breakfast and snacking on nut butter or cottage cheese on crackers or toast before you go to bed.