Breaking thru the Winter Blues

How to lift your mood

We all have days where we don’t feel happy. Something doesn’t feel right. We tell ourselves that it will pass but this is more of a wish than a certainty. We rely on sleep exercise and regular catch ups with good friends to help lift the dark veil that has fallen over us.

If you are an extrovert, an unashamed people person pure joy comes from sharing life’s ups and downs with trusted friends. Connecting with people can really help deal with stress.

For introverts like me strategies like reading, going to the movies or listening to music can shift an unwanted mood. I also find a good old-fashioned cry gets the job done. Getting lost in creative activities such as drawing, writing, cooking and crafting can soothe a troubled mind because there is no room to overthink it.

Health Matters

Rest days are a must in these crazy times. Yay to the Queens Birthday. Now we have a long weekend to take a well earned break, grab some me time and hit the reset switch. Experience tells me that when I am feeling “down” a day of sleeping-in, chilling on the couch and eating comfort food helps.

Retail therapy and exercise are well known mood busters. Exercise provided the pause button to stand up walk away from technology and get the blood circulating.  Fresh air, nature, good food and sleep – what more therapy do we need?

Personally I like the winter months. Not because I ski the snow fields in Victoria but because I enjoy snuggling under a blanket, listening to the rain on the roof and drinking lots cups of hot tea. This is my therapy for grey skies.

Winter Blues

As the winter chills continue to bite and a flu pandemic in the tea leaves, many people will not be feeling brilliant. Some of use will even experience sadness as the days get shorter during winter. If you feel in a slump, it could be normal and will pass.

Seasonal affective disorder or SAD is a well-documented mood disorder characterised by depression that occurs at the same time every year. In fact, there this syndrome is linked to sunlight. Sunlight is required to produce and brain hormone called serotonin and in winter there is less of it.

Serotonin plays a key role in body functions as mood, sleep, digestion, nausea, wound healing, bone health, blood clotting and sexual desire. In winter serotonin levels drop along with vitamin D levels and our brain chemistry is legitimately affected. Changes to sleep, moods and behaviour can cause you months of struggle and overshadow your happiness.

Mastering Moods

Negative thoughts and feelings, fatigue, depression, hopelessness, and social withdrawal can be associated with the winter months. Treatment of these winter blues includes light therapy (phototherapy) and diet. Although the stage is set, you can turn the lights on by spending time outside every day. Even if it’s cloudy. Eating a well-balanced diet and making nutritious choices make sense.

Mood boosting foods like dark chocolate, oily fish, fermented foods, oats, berries, nuts and seeds are all great additions to a winter diet. Include herbs like lavender Lavender Simple Syrup chamomile and spices Chocola Simple Syrup in your diet as they not only taste amazing, but they also have healing abilities. Alcohol in moderation stimulates the release of dopamine the “happy hormone” and serotonin. Now that I  have covered the basics its time to drink your unhappiness away. What will it be coffee or hot chocolate?

Drink Debate

Research published in May 2013 in the Journal of Psychopharmacology looked at the mood and cognitive benefits of having a chocolate drink every day for a month. Chocolate contains a type of antioxidant called polyphenols, which are thought to boost mood. The 72 female participants were divided into three groups, drinking cocoa with 0 mg, 250 mg, or 500 mg of polyphenols. Those who drank the chocolate with the highest polyphenol count experienced the greatest boost in mood, feeling calmer and more content.

A cup of caffeinated coffee can also boost your mood, both short and long term. On a short-term basis, the caffeine provides an immediate pick-me-up and mood boost. Studies have suggested that caffeine may help protect against depression. According to the results, reported in January 2016 in the journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, you’ll get the most protection drinking 2 cups of coffee per day. This is equivalent to 2 x 30 ml espresso shots.

Are you ready to transform your mood and feel more positive? Seek sunshine, eat foods that are rich in vitamin D and drink caffeine to break free of your winter mood.

Winter Buster cocktails

Time to take a spoonful of good advice and mix it into your next cocktail. Make the perfect mood busting Espresso Mocktini or add alcohol for our custom espresso martini

If you are in the mood for a crackling fire this weekend why not try our custom spiced hot toddy or mulled wine to warm you from the inside

Raise your glass to Queen Elizabeth on her 70th Jubilee



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