Beat the winter slump!

3 min read

Many of us feel lethargic and low in the colder months, but these simple steps will help restore your mojo…



Winter’s dark, gloomy days can play havoc with our body clocks, often making us feel fatigued. “Light plays a hugely important role in controlling our sleep-wake cycle,” explains Theresa Schnorbach, sleep scientist from Emma ( “In winter, we spend more time in light of lower intensity, which increases the production of melatonin – a hormone that helps to make us feel sleepy. Then, exposure to bright light in the hours before bed can disrupt sleep.” To help your body clock, try harnessing the power of light. Aim to get outside in the morning – even a 10-minute stroll on a cloudy winter’s day will boost your alertness. If you work indoors, max-out your exposure to bright light with a portable light box – these clever gadgets mimic natural sunlight and it’s thought they boost your production of mood-boosting serotonin. In the evening, give your body the signal that it’s time to wind down by dimming the lights. “Using a warmer coloured (orange-red) light in the hours before sleep could give you better rest,” adds Theresa. Many experts, including TV’s Dr Rangan Chatterjee, recommend using blue light-blocking glasses too (try These are specially designed to block the blue light that disrupts melatonin.


Struggling to feel positive? These simple morning habits can reshape your day. “Stand up and tell yourself, ‘Today will be a great day’, says motivational speaker Ife Thomas ( “It’s a psychological trick to train your mind to look for positive outcomes.” Personal trainer Sam Shaw (, who works with Tess Daly, adds, “I always tell my clients to make their bed in the morning as it means you are creating the right mindset to keep moving forward. It may seem like a small achievement, but it is something you always feel better about once it’s done, enabling you to move on to the next task, feeling productive and accomplished.”


Going out might be unappealing when it’s raining or cold, but quality connections are vital to our emotional wellbeing. “Try not to isolate yourself over winter,” says psychotherapist Jade Thomas, ( “Research has linked social isolation and loneliness to anxiety, depression and conditions like a weakened immune system.” In contrast, quality social interactions cause the brain to release “happy hormones” including dopamine, serotonin and endorphins. “Social interaction promotes feelings of safety and a sense of belonging,” adds Jade. “That can then make it easier to manage problems, instead of turning to negative coping strategies like comfort eating.” What better excuse to plan som

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