Monday, 23 February 2015

There was darkness, now there's light

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This time only a few weeks ago it would have been dark for at least an hour, but now it's only just sunset! My college days the last few months were a dreary schedule of:
-Catching the bus in the dark (7:40am)
-Thoroughly 'enjoying' taking every lesson with my much needed sunshine blocked out by curtains
-Catching the bus home in the dark (4:30pm-6)

Needless to say I was rather starved of sunshine, so it's very uplifting knowing the light mornings and nights are already firmly on their way!

Do you have the same problems? Here's my top tips on how to get your daily sunshine in the winter:

 1) Get outside
When you're stuck inside all day every day, it's amazing what a quick burst of fresh air can do. In the winter it may be cold and damp, but making time to get out even for just a 10 minute walk will wake you up and make you happier (maybe less so if it's raining)- I walk to Costa Coffee, I get both the benefit of fresh air and a nice warm drink at the end of it!

2) Exercise
Just like in my first tip, having a brief walk or a trip to the gym will wake you up and give you motivation throughout the day. Anything that gets your heart and muscles working faster than usual will lift your mood (you've probably heard that exercise releases mood enhancing endorphins) and increase your concentration - I find being inside in unnatural light for a long time makes me sleepy and I lose concentration easily.

3) Eat sunshine foods! (High in Vitamin D)
When you don't have time to get outside, particularly during winter months, you need to include plenty of vitamin D in your diet. But when it's cold and miserable outside we tend to gorge on fatty comfort foods, which lack the necessary nutrients. Fear not! I have composed a list of the best feel-good vitamin packed foods you can include into your diet easily on a daily basis:
- Bananas, for breakfast or in smoothies
- Sun-Dried tomatoes, great on salads
- Sardines/Tuna/Salmon, I like these on toast, sandwiches or in pasta
- Olive oil, cook your food in this and drizzle on pasta or salads
- Vegetables, there isn't anything they don't go with, pile em' high! If you're not a fan, try eating in soups, mix into fruit based smoothies, or blend into a pasta sauce
- Dried fruit, grab them as a quick snack, eat in flapjacks or cookies

I hope my top tips help you through the winter months, they certainly do well for me. What will help is even more is knowing Spring is on it's way! (Woohoo!)
If you have any tips to get us through the winter please share, I'd love to hear all your suggestions!

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