I don’t know what the weather has been like where you live, but here in London it has been cold, dark and dreary for months now. When I experienced my first winter in London it was a real shock. The sun doesn’t come up until after 8:00 and in December it is dark by 3:30 in the afternoon. I found I was suddenly tired all the time, cranky and as it turns out completely low in vitamin D! Vitamin D deficiency is a real problem in the UK and can affect your health and mood. It can also be a problem if you live in an area with high pollution, spend a lot of time indoors, live in a big city where buildings block sunlight and often use sunscreen. It is best to take a supplement during the cold and dark months and make sure you are eating foods rich in vitamin D. Foods such as salmon, cheese, egg yolks and foods fortified with vitamin D, like milk, orange juice, soy milk and cereals. Proper levels of vitamin D will not only keep you healthy, it can also help with weight loss, fight off disease and boost your mood. Your doctor will be able to give you a simple blood test to see where your levels are at and advise you on how much to supplement.
Another good way to boost your mood is with breathing exercises. This is one of my favorites!
Find a seated position that is comfortable for you and sit up straight. As you inhale and exhale, count your breath. Count silently in your head or use your fingers. Here is a pattern to get you started, but there is no right or wrong so go ahead and experiment to find the right combination for you.
-Inhale 5, exhale 5 (5-6 rounds)
-Inhale 5, exhale 8 (5-6 rounds)
-Inhale 5, hold the breath for 5, exhale for 5 (5-6 rounds)
You may find this puts you in a meditative state and calms the mind. Hopefully leaving you full of energy and with a clear head. Give it a go and see where it takes you!