Why we think the ‘winter blues’ are a myth.
Call us mad, but we rather like winter. Yet so often we hear about ‘winter blues’ and a general feeling of doom and gloom that many of us have convinced ourselves that feeling down during the first month of the year really is par for the course. There’s even a day – ‘Blue Monday’ – that occurs each January to signify the so-called most depressing day of the year.
Yet ask an expert, and they’ll tell you it’s mere pseudoscience. Which is why we brainstormed our top five favourite ways to make the most of January. So forget feeling blue, here at ELEMIS HQ, we find that life in January is really rather rosy. Here’s how to make sure yours is too…
1. Hibernate: There’s no better month than January to shut the doors and get cosy. Why not luxuriate in a long, soothing soak with a dash of ELEMIS Jasmine and Rose Milk Bath? Just like members of the animal kingdom, humans need to take time to reboot so rather than bemoan the lack of daylight, use it as the perfect excuse to recalibrate.
2. Top up on ‘D’: As many as one in five adults and one in six children are said to suffer from Vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D has been hailed as a major health problem for populations in the Northern Hemisphere where people simply aren’t exposed enough to the daylight needed to synthesise this essential nutrient. Given that studies show a connection between depression and ‘D’ deficiency, topping up your levels is essential. So spend at least one hour a day – ideally around lunchtime – outside, take a walk or a jog. Increase your intake of vitamin D rich foods such as oily fish, eggs, liver and mushrooms, and take a supplement if necessary.
3. Scent your space: We all know that scent and mood are intrinsically linked. Yet while citrus scents are commonly heralded as the ultimate mood lifters, in fact spicy aromas such as ginger and cardamom are best for helping you feel re-energised. For maximum, uplifting impact, light your home with scented candles and oil burners. Mist a spicy scent onto the pages of your new 2016 diary so wherever you are, the scent of energy is there to support you. Or for the best of both citrus and spice, use ELEMIS Lime and Ginger Salt Glow.
4. Train your brain: We’re no longer simply concerned with the health of our bodies – maintaining the vitality of our brains is now widely recognised as being essential to our overall health. So this month, make a commitment to increase your levels of dopamine – a neurotransmitter also known as the ‘motivation molecule’. Do this by learning something new to fire up your sense of purpose. Or take up a creative hobby such as photography, baking or fictional writing to send the brain into its meditative, happy state.
5. Make like a cat: It’s easy to feel anxious when you wake up in the dark and immediately your brain is flooded with things to do and worry about. But rather than succumb, simply use your body as a tool to shape your mood. Yoga’s ‘cat pose’ synchronises the body and breath to ease muscle tension and bring about a sense of calm. Simply get on all fours and arch your back upwards as you exhale, then flex it the other way as you inhale. Repeat for several cycles each morning and feel your spirits lift.