Overcoming the Winter Blues fueled by short dark days and cold weather…

The low-down

Throughout social media you can see ‘Blue Monday’ trending which also known as “the most depressing day of the year”. Whether it really is the most depressing day or not, one thing that is very clear is that the short dark days and cold weather leaves us all feeling a little lackluster. So here are some super hot tips on staving off those pesky winter blues.

In the deep, dark depths of winter, many of us suffer due to the ever colder weather and shorter days. It appears that brain chemicals, disruption to the circadian rhythm, genetics and a lack of vitamin D caused by reduced sunlight, bring about the onset of winter depression (also known as ‘seasonal affective disorder’). Researchers have attributed these ‘winter blues’ to the result of an increase in the production of melatonin, a hormone which regulates the sleep-wake cycle and is triggered by darkness.

Drink your greens

Matcha green tea is a miracle-worker when you’re in need of a laser-like focus, need to stay awake, or are about to engage in an intensive workout session. Matcha green tea enhances energy levels and boosts the production of two neurotransmitters in the brain called serotonin and dopamine, which increase alertness and concentration. Now that’s how you get through the working day.

Furthermore, with its L-theanine content, which delivers doses of caffeine to your body in a measured way, Matcha green tea promotes alertness without the jitter-causing side-effects of caffeine. Matcha contains a superior amount of caffeine per milligram than green tea and several studies demonstrate that caffeine consumption enhances brain function (namely focus, responsiveness and memory). Indeed, a cup (237 ml) of regular Matcha tea, made from 1-2 grams of powder contains around 34mg-80 mg of caffeine. This is greater than your average cup of green tea, which delivers a mere 16 mg of caffeine in comparison but it is actually the combination of nutrients that combine to deliver an enhanced energy (more on this in another blog!).

Eat nutrient dense foods!

This time of year is the time we crave warming and hearty foods. These can sometimes bring energy levels crashing down. Here on the I Love Matcha Tea blog, you can find a wide range of recipes which will provide you with nutrient dense, slow release, high level energy and are super tasty too! One of the most popular ways to start the day here in the office is a delicious breakfast Keto smoothie – a great way to start the day on a energy high with lots of nutrient dense foods that won’t make you crash later. Combined with our scrumptious breakfast meal of Matcha overnight oats, you can say bye-bye to the winter blues and conquer the day, instead of letting the day conquer you.

Exercise

Energy breeds energy. The more you use the more you get. Further to this, when we exercise it releases all of our happy hormones and at this time of year we need as many as we can get! So get your trainers on and your blood pumping because its time to get those happy hormones flowing.

Boost your Vitamin D levels!

Since the lack of sunlight during winter inhibits our ability to access vitamin D, you should try to increase it during the winter months in order to prevent the effects of vitamin D deficiency which may itself cause fatigue. One of the best sources in salmon, 100g of which can provide up to 50% of the recommended daily intake. Slipping mushrooms into your breakfast muffin is also a great plant-based source of Vitamin D. If you’re not a fan of mushrooms, the egg yolks of eggs produced by free range chickens can provide up to 20% of the recommended daily intake, meaning you’ve got an excuse to eat spaghetti carbonara more often during the winter. And if none of that tickles your fancy, good old vitamin D supplement tablets are just fine. Just remember to go for quality supplements!