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How to beat the blues in February

We’ve managed to get through January and we’ve got one more month to go before we start to see the days getting longer and the evenings lighter. We can do this people…..


February for me is my least favourite month of the year (sorry to all you February lovers, it’s just my personal opinion!). I love the light and warmth, so February to me is right at the tail end of an already long, dark, cold Winter and I am hanging out for the Spring.


You’ve heard of January blues, but we know lots of people suffer long into February too. A genuine phenomenon which can manifest in low energy, trouble finding motivation, sadness, tiredness, a lack of joy and trouble seeing the lighter side of life. All of which can be explained by biological reasons such as fewer daylight hours and some of the external pressures of real life, for example the current cost of living crisis and financial pressures to name a few.


So understand you are normal to have these feelings, many people are experiencing the same and you are not alone. The positive news is these feelings are often only temporary and we can take measures to try to combat the blues and take action to support ourselves until we emerge into the Spring.


Here are some practical tips to help support you in the weeks ahead, set yourself a small action of selecting one from the list to implement at least twice a week. Start small, you are more likely to have success if you do!


Increase your daylight

The dark Winter months can leave us lacking in daylight and therefore Vitamin D which we get from sunlight. This can decrease our happiness and can leave us feeling a bit low. Exposure to natural light increases serotonin in our brain which is our happy hormone and walking outside has been scientifically proven to lift our mood. A twenty minute walk outside in daylight can affect our mood positively for at least a few hours after.


Quality of sleep

We could use the recommended averages of getting between seven and nine hours sleep a night, but we are all individual and some need more sleep than others to feel well rested. So ensure you are getting enough quality sleep for you. Improve your sleeping environment with a darkened, decluttered room, a bedtime routine, mindfulness or a good book. Try to avoid blue light which can be overstimulating and soften the lighting to encourage production of the sleep hormone melatonin.


Move more

Some people get turned off by the use of the word ‘fitness and exercise’. How about reframing it to ‘moving more’? When we move, we release endorphins which are our feel good hormones and regular movement has been proven to reduce our stress levels and improve self esteem/mood. Go one better, make movement social by meeting friends for a walk so you can combine two positives with movement and connection.


Be social

Connection is one of our basic human needs. Arrange to spend time with family or friends which can improve your mental health. Even if you really don’t feel like it, commit to going for a small amount of time and that step alone could help you to feel more positive and less alone.


Eat well

When we are tired and a bit low we can reach for the sugary snacks to give us a boost, which inevitably leads to a sugar crash later and the cycle starts again. Try to eat less processed foods and refined carbohydrates like shop bought baked goods, chocolate, biscuits, ready meals and sauces.


Try eating more whole-foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, grains and up your protein levels to keep your blood glucose levels balanced to avoid cravings (meat, fish, legumes). Processed foods can put our bodies under stress biologically so tweaking your intake to include less of them, will be a real bonus. Start small and try replacing two meals a week with home cooked meals instead.


Hopefully by incorporating some of the tips above over the coming months, you can improve your mental health and physical wellbeing leaving you less ‘blue’ and more upbeat about the year to come. Let’s look forward to the year ahead!


Are you suffering from low self-esteem, constantly stressed, unable to prioritise, stuck in the past, finding new challenges overwhelming, lacking in energy, struggling to manage your weight or instil new habits? I may be able to help.


To book in your FREE 15 minute coaching consultation, please visit my website www.healthyhabitslife.co.uk or email me Antonia at info@healthyhabitslife.co.uk and let's chat to see if we can work together in 2023.








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