The parks are wearing a carpet of golden leaves, we’re all layered up in our favorite coat and scarf combo, pumpkin-spiced lattes are back on sale in Starbucks and weekends in bed are back on the menu. It is easy to understand why we all love autumn. But winter is a very different beast altogether. And winter will be here before you know it. I don’t know about you but I always experience winter fatigue.
The nights are drawing in, you can see your breath when you wake up, your joints ache, your fingers struggle to type out a text message and your bathroom floor has become the coldest place on earth according to the Guinness Book of World Records.
But that isn’t the worst of it.
The worst part is that you feel constantly tired.
It is just so frustrating. Despite all your efforts, you can’t shake that feeling of fatigue. You can’t get your levels of tiredness to climb up and out of the funk they are in. At best, it causes you distress. At worst, you start to think you have an underlying issue that requires special medical attention, something that your local doctor wouldn’t be able to diagnose. This tiredness in the winter months is also known as winter fatigue.
Usually, it is not this. Usually, it is just the winter season to blame. Or maybe Donald Trump’s Twitter feed, but winter is more likely.
To address your constant fatigue, we have pulled together a list of things you can do to start overcoming your exhaustion and start feeling alive again.
How to Fight Winter Fatigue
Go On A Healthy Eating Bender
One of the biggest causes of tiredness is being overweight. Why? Well, there are a couple reasons. It is having to carry that extra weight around and it is struggling with sleep apnoea, which is where your weight causes you to snore, thus interrupting your sleeping and leaving youwith an exhausted feeling in the morning. That is where losing weight can rain down on you like the savior it is.
Not only will eating healthier foods help you lose weight it will also fill you with energy, good energy, the kind of energy that will keep you going from morning until lunch without your eyes feeling heavy once.
Caffeine Is Not The Villain Here
In a world that has become with health and well-being, caffeine has found itself being victimised, labelled as a bad guy and an addictive drug that is almost as bad for you as crack, and thus avoided at all costs. But this is not the case. Apple seeds have cyanide in them but no one is screaming and yelling about this.
The trick is moderation.
Understand that and you will find caffeine is that useful pick me up you always knew it was. That doesn’t mean you have to get a double espresso from Starbucks or a can of Red Bull from your local convenience store; you could start drinking caffeinated water instead. Not only does caffeine boost physical performance it helps mental awareness too.
Just try and keep your caffeine intake as a pre-lunch thing, otherwise you could find your sleep starts to take a knock.
Hit The Gym Not the Sofa
When you are feeling a little bit knackered, the idea of collapsing in a heap on the sofa and popping on another episode of New Girl is the most attractive proposition going. However, the gym could be the answer to your exhaustion. That is because exercise is known to increase our energy levels.
You know this, though.
You know how alive you feel when you go for a run or a jog, a walk or a quick burst on the rowing machine, so why ignore this. Exercise has a way of waking up our minds, producing endorphins, building muscle and improving our mood and self-confidence. It is basically the Holy Grail when trying to overcome that feeling of being fatigued.
It’s Time To Say No To Screens
We mentioned Netflix and New Girl above, both of which hint at you watching a screen. This is bad. People are becoming more and more addicted to screens. We’re talking televisions, smartphones, laptops, tablets and going into a trance in Times Square. These are affecting our ability to sleep, our eyes, brains and just our general well-being. It’s not exactly ideal.
Yet we struggle to manage this…
We struggle to turn our screens off. We look at our phones before bed. We work late. We watch Netflix until the early hours. The reason why these screens affect our sleep has to do with the lights affecting our melatonin levels, throwing our natural body clock way off course, like the Titanic heading toward a sea of icebergs. So, stop doing this and go back to the good old days of taking a hot bath, reading a book and enjoying a cup of decaf tea if you want to fight winter fatigue.
Get your Omegas Right
Omega-3 has literally been proven to help with sleep. How can you argue with proof – scientific proof? That is why you should start getting into the habit of chowing down on fish for dinner or taking cod liver oil tablets an hour before bed.
Of course, you may not be a big fan of fish, which is no problem. Canola oil, flaxseed, wild rice, eggs, soybeans and walnuts are all pretty awesome on the omega-3 front.
What you want to avoid, however, is omega-6. Ugh. This nasty little sucker will keep you awake. So, to avoid chomping this sleep thief unwittingly, you should cut down on the amount of processed foods you eat. We know a life without junk food and fast food sounds horrendous, but by readdressing the balance between these omegas you will feel less tired all the time. We promise.
Kick Back And Relax More
One of the biggest tired-inducing variables is stress. Being stressed about something is a surefire way to see your energy levels get thrown under the bus because stress topples our hormones quicker than rulers get toppled in Game Of Thrones.
Stress produces either cortisol or adrenaline, both of which are short-term functions designed to get you out of danger. They are not to be turned on and left for long periods. Stress not only tampers with sleep, it can affect your weight, your digestion, your heart, your mood and your memory. So, whatever it is that helps you relax and encourages you to stress less, do it to fight winter fatigue.