Boost Your Mood
Stay Physically Active
Exercise can have an enormous impact on your mood. In fact, it’s proven that exercise can be just as effective as anti-depressants in treating mild-to-moderate depression. Exercise can help to ease depression by increasing serotonin which helps to regulate your mood, sleep patterns and appetite, and produces endorphins for the perfect natural energy boost on a dreary winter’s day. A yoga class, swimming laps at your nearest indoor pool, or headings to the gym is an outstanding way to move your body when it’s too cold or wet to head outside.
Get Some Sunshine
If the sky is clear, find a friend or pop on your headphones, roll up your sleeves and head out for a brisk walk to top up on winter sunshine and boost your serotonin levels. Like sunlight, daily exercise assists the body’s natural production of vitamin D. If the weather allows, gardening or riding your bike to work is also a great way to catch some extra sunlight during the winter months.
Try Guided Meditation
Trying to meditate is a lot like trying to sleep – attempting to force it can often make it harder. Instead, think of meditation as a few moments to yourself to refocus or unwind, rather than a discipline you have to master. There’s some wonderful free self-care tools out there such as Insight Timer, offering guided meditation and mindfulness programs for people of all ages. Specially designed by psychologists, whether at home or on-the-go, it’s 10 minutes well spent when you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, anxious or low on energy.
Take a Break From Alcohol
It's not realistic for most of us to give up drinking entirely. However, limiting alcohol to one or two standard drinks a day, or having a handful of alcohol-free days each week is a great place to start. Cutting out alcohol completely for a full month can be a great way to pause, notice how much you're drinking and how it's impacting your mood, and reset your habits. The benefits of a break from drinking include more energy and productivity, better sleep, and importantly, no hangovers! Reclaim your Sunday and you’ll quickly feel the mental and physical benefits of a rest from alcohol.
Cook At Home
Food for thought: Recent studies have found that a balanced diet may help to prevent and improve the symptoms of depression. Rainy days at home are a good excuse to break out your cookbooks or test out that new healthy recipe you saved in your phone with good intentions. Then add some hearty complex carbohydrates (like green veggies, whole grains and beans) to your plate. Packed with soluble fibre, these winter staples slow the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream and increase serotonin levels, helping to boost your mood. Turn up your favourite music and get cooking!
Set Your Clock
Sleeplessness and mood disorders are closely linked, so making sleep hygiene a priority is essential to feeling your best. ‘Sleep hygiene’ simply means habits that help you have a good night’s sleep. For example, don’t ignore tiredness. Go to bed when your body tells you it’s ready and try to aim for 7–9 hours of sleep per night. Hitting snooze is never more tempting than when it’s cold and rainy, however getting up at the same time each morning will increase your exposure to beneficial sunlight during the early waking hours. Soon this strict routine will help to ‘set’ your body clock and you’ll feel more energised throughout the day and get sleepy at about the same time every night.
So there you have it, some tried and tested tips to boosting your mood on those cold rainy days.