The nights are drawing in as we reach that time of the year when we get to enjoy less hours of sunlight, start to feel less energetic and end up staying indoors a lot longer.
For those that suffer with symptoms of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), it can be a really miserable time. A lack of sunlight, contact with others and other feelings of boredom, listlessness and even mild depression can creep up on you slowly, but there are simple things that can improve your mood and can help maintain your overall health.
Apart from the obvious solution of jumping in your spa or hot tub for a good unwind, here are some ways to stave off the winter blues:
Make time to relax
Your spa is usable year round, it’s important to remember that. Making time in your schedule to relax is incredibly important for avoiding winter depression.
If you have the time, taking a dip in your spa is always worth it, however some additional aspects could well add to your experience.
Why not try:
- Scented candles – Your senses are already being stimulated by the warmth of the water and the sensation of the bubbles. Add some scents to that mix and you will be well on the way to some much needed relaxation. Pick a seasonal scent to suit your mood, just make sure your candle is situated in a safe place where it can burn gradually.
- Musical accompaniment – There are tons of amazing playlists out there for unwinding to, but pick something that soothes the senses rather than gets your hair standing on end. Think ambience, soft piano or electronic music, not heavy metal or techno!
- A drink to relax – Find something cold that makes you feel refreshed. Alcohol is fine in moderation, but try and find something you can have over ice, that fizzes and makes you feel relaxed.
Mindfulness and rest
Relaxation doesn’t need to be sleep. It can take many forms and simply emptying your mind of all thoughts and stresses can work wonders.
Work on finding what works for you. Quiet contemplation works for some, whilst reading a book, listening to music or performing some gentle exercise works for others. Others might need the total concentration of yoga or meditation to truly feel like their mind quietens down and becomes serene.
It’s proven that making the effort to spend time relaxing means essential chemicals like dopamine and serotonin are released by the body, which can aid you to feel physically as well as mentally calmer.
If your happy place is surrounded by bubbles, then make that relaxation time some spa time.
Eat right, feel right
It’s easy to slip into bad habits over the autumn and winter months. A colder chill in the air and being all cosy at home means that you can end up relying on comfort food a bit too much. The odd takeaway here and there is not going to hurt but if it starts to invade your weekly routine a bit too much, it can make you feel a lot worse than you think.
Keeping up your intake of water, vitamins and minerals as well as a diverse range of foods including fruits, vegetables, dairy, fibre and protein is essential. Without your vitamin D coming from sunshine exposure, you might want to supplement that too.
Being healthy doesn’t mean your winter diet should be dull. Think hearty soups, big casseroles and food rich in healthy ingredients and seasonal veg.
It’s too easy during winter months to stay indoors and shut yourself away. The health benefits of taking a refreshing walk are many. From increased circulation and the upsides of exercise, it also means you are flooded with vitamin D from sunlight.
Fresh air breathed in is also better for your lungs and respiratory system and getting your blood pumping is essential for feeling more relaxed. Inactivity breeds bad habits and there’s a lot to be said for just changing your scenery to keep the brain active and not despondent.
If you can’t get outside, then taking time to walk in front of a light box that imitates sunlight a few times a day can make a huge difference.
Talk it out
A great number of people report feeling lonely and this is especially true of older people. They often say a problem shared is a problem halved and just chatting can make any problem seem less serious and more manageable.
Starting up a new hobby, joining in with group activities or just talking more to those you know can help you immensely. Even if you end up talking online, that little connection with another human being can make you feel ten times better.
Overall, you should schedule your time to fit in something that makes you happy, relaxed or at least can give you a sense of escape for a few hours. We live in a busy world so taking time away from life’s worries can really help.
Our range of spas offer the best way to relax and with our exclusive models, you’ll be feeling more relaxed in minutes. With the addition of a heat pump, you’re also able to relax when it comes to cost as well. Bills may be going up elsewhere but with the right spa and the right heat pump, you can run one of these relaxation solutions for less than the cost of a coffee per day.
For more information on the fantastic benefits of spa’s on cognitive well-being, be sure to check out our blog on the effects of hot tubs on mental health.
Alternatively, if you need some further help relaxing? Check out our range of spas here.