Shake off the Winter Woes | People Plus

Shake off the Winter Woes

So, we’re finally into February, gladly seeing the back of January for many. Temperatures have hinted at increasing, the dark mornings are very slowly starting to reduce, and light mornings by 7am are on the horizon from the middle of the month to make days more bearable for most.
Having said this, winter remains and with it comes some health issues that may affect some of us.

Firstly, there is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which the NHS state as a form of winter depression which may occur due to changes in the body’s internal clock and changes to the body and brain’s chemicals. This can leave us feeling tired, sluggish, change of appetite and finding it hard to concentrate. Now we might not all experience SAD, but a lot of us do start to feel down during the winter, which may be down to commuting in cold and harsh weather and forever starting and finishing our days in the dark.

As well as feeling down, we are also more likely to develop colds and flus during the winter months. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) recent data suggests 38.5million workdays were lost last year due to colds and flu related illnesses. To prevent getting these illnesses it is important to keep your immune system, the body’s frontline for defense, as healthy as possible.

We can do this through the following:
Sleep – By ensuring a minimum of 8 hours a night.
Lack of sleep can significantly increase your chance of flu but by getting an early night you can increase your energy levels and improve your overall mindset.

Get Cosy – Being in a healthy mindset can reduce your chances of getting ill.
So why not improve your mood with some warm lighting and scented candles to help see out the wintery nights.

Get Moving – Exercise can help improve your immune system and fight off illnesses.
By getting outdoors and getting some natural sunlight you can reduce your chance of developing SAD whilst decreasing the chance of feeling tired and sluggish, not to mention improve your mental health. So why not take the family for a crisp winter walk over the weekend?

Of course, most people spend most of their time at work, so here’s some tips for keeping yourself healthy at work and making the most of the season.

Communal spaces can breed germs so invest in some hand gel and ensure personal hygiene is a priority.
Just a change of scenery can help rejuvenate us, so why not freshen up your desk or work environment with some fresh plants.
Try and get a warm lunch to help fight off the cold such as a hearty winter vegetable soup. A high fibre diet can lead to a healthy gut and an increased immune system.

If you would like some advice on how to beat the winter woes please get in touch at wellbeing@peopleplus.co.uk.

By Naomi Greene
PeoplePlus Wellbeing Advisor



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