BLOG NOVEMBER '19 Bye bye winterblues. Hello extra energy!

The clocks went back this weekend and already the winter blues are hitting us. The sun sets a little earlier each evening, the temperatures fall and it's getting a lot chillier outside. Your biological clock can easily become disturbed. For many people, autumn and winter are cosy and festive seasons, but not everyone sees them that way. Do you get tired easily in the colder months? Have the grey skies put a damper on your mood? Then you probably belong to the latter group of people. Luckily, we have some tips to help pep you up and wave goodbye to those annoying winter blues.

 

The early bird catches the worm

Admit it. When you wake up in your warm, snuggly bed, it can feel impossible to throw off the duvet and start your day. But the early bird catches the worm. If you're a night owl, those words probably send chills down your spine, but there is a lot of truth in them. Since it gets darker earlier in winter, your body starts ramping down for bedtime earlier too. Try to respect your biological clock as much as possible and listen to your body. Avoid looking at screens in the two hours before you go to bed. They disturb the production of melatonin, which affects the quality and length of your sleep.

>> TIP: Do you find it difficult to get out of bed? Buy an alarm clock with a wake-up light, drink a delicious detox tea under the covers, or create a fun morning ritual that you can look forward to, like a bit of me-time. Did you know that Waer Waters is open from 10am onwards on Fridays to Sundays? Reason enough to get out of bed early.

Get some fresh air

A lack of light affects our moods and makes us depressed. Daylight not only allows your body to produce vitamin D, it also suppresses the production of the sleep hormone melatonin, which our body starts to make when the sun goes down at night. This can make us sleepy and fatigued during the day. It's easy to fall into a vicious cycle. The weather is dark and cold, so you stay inside, which means you get less daylight and have less energy to go outside.

>> TIP: Tip to the rescue! Go outside. It's simple, but effective. Many people leave the house in the morning when it's still dark and return home when the sun is going down. This means you see very little daylight. Get out into nature. Or have an authentic Finnish sauna experience in the Re-energize zone at Waer Waters, surrounded by nature. There's nothing better than sitting in a warm jacuzzi when it's cold outside. Or you could sleep under the stars in one of the greenhouses.

Move it!

If the weather is miserable and you're feeling blue, it can be easy to slip into hibernation mode. Resist the temptation! It's better to get moving. Exercise is a powerful remedy for a winter depression and is a good anti-depressant in general. It makes your body produce happy hormones, which can banish your winter blues. It stimulates your metabolism, makes you feel fitter and puts you in a better mood.

>> TIP: Do you find it a challenge to swap the cosiness of the indoors for a vigorous workout? Look for a fitness buddy who can help drag you off the sofa. Two birds with one stone: you'll get the opportunity to have a good chat, all while improving your fitness. A good workout can work miracles. 

Bathe in aromatherapy

The grey winter months can wreak havoc on your skin and hair. Time to pamper yourself. Investing in yourself is one of the best ways to banish the winter blues. You'll soon notice the feel-good hormones (dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin) coursing through your body.

>> TIP: Plan in some me-time. A moment to yourself, without any obligations. A day of pampering at a wellness centre can be a great mood booster. Take part in an aromatherapeutic Aufguss session or add a few drops of your favourite scent to your bathwater. Did you know that scents can directly influence your emotions? Smell is the one human sense that directly connects to the emotional brain. The right scent can put you in a good mood. For example, citrus refreshes your mind and activates your body, meaning you can wave goodbye to feelings of gloom and fatigue. Floral scents, on the other hand, have a warming and relaxing effect.

Smile

Force your facial muscles into a smile, even if you don't feel like smiling. Smiling makes you happy,  as it cools the bloodstream to your brain via the veins in your face — and a cool brain is a happy brain. Even a forced smile has a beneficial impact on your brain. When we smile, hormones are released, such as serotonin, which counteracts depression, and dopamine, a hormone associated with pleasure.

>> TIP: Take the time to do the things that put a smile on your face. Get outside and have an unforgettable day with your friends. You could visit a wellness centre. The ‘Unite’ zone in Waer Waters is the perfect place to spend the day together in a peaceful, zen atmosphere.

You are what you eat

As well as feeling tired and down, if you are plagued with the winter blues, you'll also feel a stronger urge to eat carbohydrate-rich foods. The desire for comfort food can be intense in winter. Though eating these foods makes you feel better in the moment, your body has to work harder to break down all those sugars. This can actually make you feel more tired. Your diet, therefore, has a big impact on your mood and energy levels.

>> TIP: Eat protein-rich foods and foods with tryptophan. The amino acid tryptophan stimulates the production of happy hormones. Good news: chocolate contains both! In addition to dark chocolate, it's also important to eat lots of fruit and vegetables. Eat at regular intervals and have a varied diet that is rich in vitamins and minerals.

Empty your mind

Training your mind can help keep you healthy. Excuses such as ‘I'm tired’, ‘I can't be bothered’, ‘It's so cold’, and ‘I'd rather stay in’ are all in your mind. Try to get your mind under control with meditation and breathing techniques. Meditation helps to empty your mind and is a miracle cure that puts you in a more positive and relaxed mood.

TALK: ‘MEDITATION IS GOOD FOR YOUR BRAIN’ - STEVEN LAUREYS

Listen to an inspiring talk about the positive effects of meditation on the body and mind. On Tuesday 12 November, Waer Waters will welcome Neurologist & ‘top doctor’ Steven Laureys. His presentation will both inspire you and inform you about the scientific research into meditation.

FIND PEACE DURING THE 'SILENCE’ THEME WEEKEND

The ‘Silence’ theme weekend will be held on 16 & 17 November and is the ideal opportunity to clear your head and recharge your batteries before the winter really sets in. The whole weekend, including the Aufguss, scrub and meditation sessions, will revolve around the theme of silence. Because let's be honest, silence is a rarity these days.

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