! Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) affects around seven per cent of the population, but there are things that might lift your mood.
Here are five ways to feel better before spring sets in:
Enjoy a pamper session
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The world can be a little hectic sometimes, so why not treat yourself to a day of pampering and preening at your local beauty salon? Enjoy a luxurious back massage, book a chemical peel or spend time having your hair done by an experienced stylist – before chilling in the pool or reading a book in your towel. Take a friend along with you for the day or spend some girly time with friends away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Many places offer weekend packages, so drop a few hints for Mother’s Day or ask for an extra special birthday treat.
Improve your diet
A well-balanced diet will help you stay in shape and could improve your mood. Eating foods that release energy slowly (such as brown pasta and rice, fruit and carrot sticks) will help stabilise your blood sugar levels and should keep your spirits high. Calorie-laden food might taste great at the time, but you’re likely to feel hungry and irritable just a few hours later. Try to eat wholesome foods that are low in fat and eat at least five pieces of fruit and veg a day. If it helps, keep a food diary so you can see exactly what you’re eating – including snacks, meals out and all!
After a long day at work, you might not feel like working out, but exercise can really improve your mood. A sweaty gym session will release happy hormones known as endorphins and these will help keep you positive about life. With this in mind, attempt half an hour on the treadmill after work, or book an exercise class for your lunch break. A few changes to your daily routine can make all the difference and should help you stay on top of the world. If you’re overweight you might even drop a few pounds and be able to squeeze back into your skinny jeans – what could be better?
Accept you for you
It may sound a little cheesy, but it’s really important to accept you, for you! For some people this may mean dressing to suit their body type or getting a haircut that works better with the shape of their face. Of course, for others it may mean booking a nose job with a reputable company. But no matter how you go about it, it is important to make sure the decisions you make are for yourself, rather than as a result of pressure from the people around you or unrealistic images of celebrities. Everyone is different, so learn to love your good and bad bits.
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Whether you’re wearing a tracksuit or a glamorous dress, spray yourself with perfume and feel beautiful throughout 2012. Wearing your favourite smell will help lift your mood and should give you the confidence to tackle each day. Try using scented moisturiser too (being sure to avoid products packed with chemicals) and check out the hair spritzers available from many beauty stores. Applying full makeup everyday can be tricky, but a quick spray is effortless.
Improve your confidence in time for spring and look glamorous for the rest of the year.