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As summer comes to an end and autumn looms in, the dark mornings and cold could make some of us feel a little less chipper than usual. In fact, the NHS says that one in 15 people may even suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), caused by low production rates of melatonin and serotonin, as well as the disruption of the body’s internal clock.
To ensure our lovely readers don’t succumb to these autumn blues, we’ve come up with three different ways you can stay happy even in the coldest months of the year. After all, there’s so much to look forward to throughout winter including Halloween, Bonfire Night and, of course, Christmas so we can’t have you feeling down.
Practise the Danish Art of Happiness
Each and every year, Denmark ranks incredibly high on the World Happiness Report despite the fact it is cold and rainy throughout most the year. While experts have put a number of reasons why this may be forward, the easiest one that others around the world can adopt for themselves is hygge. Pronounced “hoo-ga”, the word cannot be directly translated into English, but centres around the idea of creating a cosy atmosphere. According to an article on Lottoland, all you need to recreate hygge in your home is an air of cosiness, bonding time with those you live with and to indulge in small pleasures such as hot chocolate or a good book.
Help Your Body Produce Natural Hormones
Due to the lack of sunlight throughout winter, in addition to the fact few us fancy going for a run or to the gym in the freezing cold, our bodies begin producing less melatonin and serotonin. To combat this and help your body keep your happy-hormone supply up, try to get as much natural sunlight as humanly possible between November and March. Also, try to fit at least a moderate amount of exercise into your weekly schedule to ensure you don’t become lethargic. This could be as easy as doing a bit of yoga in the morning, or you could find some classes (preferably with heating) at your local gym.
Eat Seasonal, Healthy Food
In addition to getting natural sunlight and exercising every so often, it is also a great idea to get food-savvy. Due to our depleting hormone supplies, many of us tend to crave carb-rich foods such as pasta, potatoes and rice in the winter months, all of which will cause us to gain weight and feel worse. Instead, aim to ear seasonal, anti-oxidant and nutrient-rich foods such as swede, sweet potato and pumpkins. Fruit such as apples, figs and pears are also a great choice as they are filled with flavonoids, pears and calcium according to experts at The Mirror.
Autumn can be a wonderful time if we manage to keep our spirits up, so make sure you put these recommendations into practice. Also, let us know if you have any autumn blues-busting tips for your fellow readers in the comments down below.