Are You Ready for Winter?

With August now behind us, we have to accept that winter is coming. Winter can be a challenging time for people for all sorts of reasons. The short daylight hours can produce a clinically recognised depressive condition called SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder, with the sufferers feeling listless, lacking in energy and even depressed.

Winter also brings challenges in the home and garden, for your exercise routine and even your pets! Today we’re taking a look at some of these challenges and asking ‘are you ready for winter?’

Staying Fit

The winter can make it harder to keep to an exercise regime and maintain our usual levels of fitness: the cold weather and short days call for sheltering inside and rib sticking meals rather than activity and diet we know is better for us.

You can improve matters by preparing in advance. Think about your needs, and how you can meet them when the weather outside isn’t on your side: will you invest in some insulated sportswear and keep running? Investigate gym memberships? You can also research recipes and find options that provide the winter comfort your body craves while still being balanced and nutritious.

Don’t forget that dehydration is still a problem – potentially more of a problem – when the weather is cold and wet. Make sure you keep a stock of rehydration products like isotonic sports drinks or O.R.S. Hydration Tablets to balance your fluid and electrolyte levels healthily.

Mental Health

Winter is a challenging time for many people. You can help to cushion the twin blows of dismal weather and reduced daylight with good planning and the right frame of mind.

Scandinavian countries suffer longer, colder winters than the UK, and people there have evolved a useful coping mechanism. Rather than thinking about the things they can’t do because of the cold, wet weather, they look for the specific opportunities that the conditions of the winter weather affords them.

Similarly, rather than giving up on getting outside in the winter, maximise your use of the daylight hours! As long as you prepare, and you look for the unique pleasures of a winter walk you can boost your mood and ensure you get the biggest dose of vitamin D possible.

When it comes to dark winter evenings, think about the opportunities afforded to you there, too. If you are lower in energy than normal, and feel the urge to hunker cosily beneath a blanket, think about what you can do that feels sustaining and meaningful in that environment: it’s an opportunity for crafting projects, to catch up on reading (maybe within the structure of a book group) or even to write yourself!

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