Are you finding that your coffee isn’t giving you the boost you need, as the weather turns colder and your energy slumps? You might be one of the two million people in the UK experiencing Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).1https://www.nhsinform.scot/healthy-living/mental-wellbeing/low-mood-and-depression/beating-the-winter-blues
As sunlight decreases and temperatures drop, SAD can leave you feeling fatigued and struggling to concentrate. Symptoms may include the following:2https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder-sad/overview/
- a persistent low mood
- a loss of pleasure or interest in normal everyday activities
- feelings of despair, guilt and worthlessness
- feeling lethargic (lacking in energy) and sleepy during the day
- sleeping for longer than normal and finding it hard to get up in the morning
- craving carbohydrates and gaining weight
- difficulty concentrating
- decreased sex drive
What can we do about it?
- Take Siberian Ginseng
Siberian Ginseng, also known as Eleuthero, is a herb that can improve physical stamina and mental clarity.3https://www.indigo-herbs.co.uk/natural-health-guide/benefits/siberian-ginseng This is similar to caffeine (but without an impending crash)!
Siberian Ginseng works by improving access to oxygen in your cells.4https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21793317/ As oxygen is crucial for physical movement, this can improve endurance and performance. It’s also a favourite for professional runners as a natural boost.
Plus – one of the favourite benefits is an increase in mental concentration. Siberian Ginseng’s ability to improve oxygen circulation can reduce fatigue and brain fog, and can help improve memory.5https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6567285/
- Drink Kefir
Probiotics (like Kefir) are involved in energy homeostasis and can help provide that extra energy boost.6https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4862197/
Kefir helps re-populate the gut with ‘good’ bacteria and repairs damage to the microbiome. Improving your gut health is the first step towards improving mood and energy levels.
A recent study shows how Kefir can increase energy levels during exercise and help reduce post-workout fatigue.7https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7996501/
Kefir also contains a good amount of B12, which is another natural energy booster. Get started with a delicious Kefir Mango Smoothie here.
- Get Outdoors
Another great way to improve mood and energy is to get outdoors!
Spending time outdoors does amazing things for your gut health and mental well-being. A recent study shows that time spent outdoors can improve mood and emotional well-being.8https://www.apa.org/monitor/2020/04/nurtured-nature#:~:text=Key%20points,much%20time%20one%20spends%20outdoors. And the best part – it didn’t matter how long you spent outdoors. The important thing is to feel connected to nature, so a little home garden might suit you too.
Natural light is also important to help with your body’s circadian rhythm and can help ease SAD.9https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/tips-for-everyday-living/nature-and-mental-health/how-nature-benefits-mental-health/
If you want to see the other benefits of getting outside, take a look here.
For more tips on how to naturally boost your mood, read our blog post here.
If you need further advice, then jump on Live Chat! Our Nutritional Therapists are ready to answer your questions from 8 am to 8 pm on weekdays. 🙂