SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder

The last few weeks have seen a number of storms work their way through England! Gale force winds and unpredictable weather can make cycling in winter an irregular form of exercise. This recent post will give you some ideas on how to maintain your fitness over winter in preparation for those summer cycling smiles but how do you keep the winter blues away when you can’t exercise outdoors as much as you’d like to? Here’s some top options to keep your mind fit over winter.

Don’t feel SAD

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is thought to affect around 2 million people each year in the UK, so you are by no means alone if you’re finding yourself feeling less than perky during these winter months. Whilst exercising outdoors in the middle of the day, when natural light is at its brightest, is a great way to combat SAD, it’s not always possible. Some people find light therapy a great alternative. Light boxes give out light simulating bright daylight which can have a really beneficial affect on your well-being in the darker winter months.

Eat your greens

It might sound simple but eating right over winter can make a big difference to how you feel. It’s really easy to turn to carbs and sugars when the weather’s cold, but neither your body nor your mind will thank you. Balanced meals made from fresh foods rich in vitamins will go a long way to minimising the cravings for carbohydrates and helping you to feel good in mind and body. This is the one I’m working really hard on right now! My body craves sugars in winter and I know it’s doing neither my mind nor my body any good…and my skin is really suffering too. Bring on the kale!

Bring the outdoors in

Sometimes, something as simple as having flowers and plants indoors can influence how we feel when it’s grey, raining and cold outside. Wherever you live, there’s always space for some extra greenery, be it a lovely big leafy plant, a vase of colourful flowers or a herb window box.

Or maybe just introducing some colourful walls to your rooms, or bright artwork will help to make things feel less dreary on a grey winter’s day. I love a landscape picture and always try to take some photos when travelling of my favourite views! Framed, they look great on my office wall and take me right back to my travels, with glorious sunshine, and bright blues and greens.

Plan for some cycling in the sun

Booking up a sunny cycling break could be just the therapy you need and definitely works wonders in helping me to feel like there is something really fun ahead. Give yourself something to look forward to and a reason to keep fit and healthy by booking a break in the sun. Now! We rarely have trips booked up this early in the year, but already we have a trip to Brazil planned, some early summer cycling around Lake Constance and a summer cycling trip in the French Alps. It’s doing wonders for my fitness motivation, I can tell you! You could book a family activity holiday or gather up your mates for a mountain biking break or a  leisurely cycling holiday to a beautiful European destination.

 

 

Image: Maria Victoria via Unsplash

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