How have you been feeling since I last checked in on you? Have you been stressed or have you been feeling exhausted?
Did you make a list of things you did that day? If so, what did you see?
With the winter months closing in, the days are getting shorter and hours of light are dramatically reduced, sometimes giving the sensation that we have less time to do things. With many of us travelling to and from work and school drop-offs in the dark, it’s important to keep stress levels to the minimum.
Feelings of anxiety, stress and depression become quite apparent in winter months, with lower levels of vitamin D reaching the body due to the lack of sunlight. Some of you may even have heard of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) which commonly occurs in Winter months due to less light entering the eye, altering hormone levels and therefore leading to higher production of melatonin, causing lethargy and symptoms of depression.
So here are my top tips to keeping stress levels down and happiness levels up. Hard combination huh?
- Make a list every morning and don’t be unrealistic. Many times, I make this horrible mistake myself. I create a list of 30 things that I need to do (see example below). By doing this, you set yourself up for failure before you have even started. Add tasks to lists that are achievable as the satisfaction and reward for completing this will be much more beneficial for you then not finishing a list. Incomplete lists can leave you feeling guilty for having any me time and this is not healthy.
- Do the things that you are likely to avoid FIRST THING. There will always be tasks in your day that you don’t particularly like doing. As a general rule, most people are more efficient in the morning so this is the best time to get these things done. After lunch, we tend to be tired and doing the things you enjoy most will feel like a reward. Problems only escalate if not dealt with. Deal with difficult situations first and you will feel less stressed about them for the rest of the day.
- Eat right – You’re in a rush, you’re cold and you grab whatever you can find! Make and take time to consider the nutrients of produce and recipe and choose mood boosting foods. The Health Boost, run by the lovely Kat and Val have some great recommendations of ingredients for each season and their recipes are quick, yummy and family friendly (thehealthboost.co.uk). If you are struggling to understand what you should be eating, we offer a fully nutrition pack, tailored to your needs. Read more by clicking here.
- Do one thing you enjoy each day and don’t feel guilty for it! We’re not superwomen/men or at least we can’t be all the time. Whether it’s a gym session, a coffee with a friend or an episode of Love Island (don’t laugh, you know it’s true), DO IT! What’s the worst that could happen? Make sure you take care of yourself as in winter we are prone to being ill and it’s important to keep your immune system sharp to keep you strong and healthy.
- Remember, tomorrow is another day. If you haven’t got around to finishing something or not ticked off something on your list, it’s not the end of the world and tomorrow is another day.
- Take 5 minutes each night to reflect on the day to highlight something positive. Take a few moments to think about what you have achieved today or something you are grateful for.
For more information on how to manage your stress levels, book in your 30 min consultation by contacting us today by clicking here and of course, stayed tuned for part 3 coming soon!
With much love,
Better Body Group, Personal Training Sevenoaks