What a lovely winter we’re having this autumn!

Are you dreading the approaching icy grip of winter? Do you feel depressed during the rainy season? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. In fact, there’s a scientific term for it: Seasonal Affected Disorder (SAD). Scientists don’t completely understand this disorder yet, but it’s more common than you’d think.

Basically, the lack of sunlight (especially in the morning), the whack ions in the air and the lack of serotonin in the brain are the main culprits behind SAD and 60% to 90% of people with SAD are women!

After some (not much) research I found that serotonin is a chemical that lifts your mood. Now, we don’t all want to become Prozac addicts, do we? No! So, in order to boost the serotonin levels in your brain we have to do things that we love in order to get through the winter months.

Luckily, winter isn’t all bad. There are tons of things we can do to lift our moods and they don’t cost an arm and a leg:

1. EXERCISE! You’ve paid your gym fees, now go. Stop making excuses. Yes, it is cold, but did you know that exercise not only keeps you fit, but it also keeps colds and flues at bay and it also lifts the serotonin levels in your brain – making you feel happy. Try to go after work, because nobody wants to wake up early on a week day to go to the gym. It’s about being happy in winter after all.

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2. HOT CHOCOLATE! For those of you who will be hard at work on your bikini bodies in the dead of winter, don’t worry, the odd hot chocolate here and there won’t make a dent in your routine. In fact, you burn more calories in winter as your body tries to keep itself warm so you are welcome to make up the lost energy in the form of a hot chocolate. Want to be even better? Replace the hot chocolate with chocolate protein powder. Seriously – dit proe blerrie lekker!

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3. CHANGE IT UP! Your skin care and beauty routine should change with the seasons. Winter often leaves your skin dryer, so spoil yourself with richer lotions like body butters or oils. Try to go for something with lavender, coco, coconut oil or Ylang-ylang. These scents lift your mood and coconut oil is EXTREMELY good for the skin. Try Hey Gorgeous’ Coconut Souffle or Nuxe body, face and hair oil.

coconut souffle

4. SNUGGLE UP! Nothing is better than a snuggling up with your fave flick under a wad of blankets with the heater on. Yeah, yeah Eskom can suck it because I am investing in a gas heater!

Eskom

5. WARM AND CUTE! I say “Welcome winter. Meet my new wardrobe! Sorry credit card :(” The varsity jacket is a major hit this winter – steal it from the boys and rock it better than they can. Also, having cute mittens and beanies are an instant mood booster. I got these pink mittens 3 or so years ago from Woman Street and they are too cute! I love them. Or try those adaptable mittens where you can unhook the front part so you have use of your fingers. Seriously – lift your mood with a couple of cute items for your cupboard and breeze through the winter.

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6. EAT SOUPS! Besides the vitamins, soups are a sure fire way of lifting your mood. You don’t have to slave behind a stove for hours on end either. Try this simple recipe:

a. 2 cans of mixed veggies
b. 1 pack of chopped bacon
c. A cup of water and then add on as much as you’d like.
In a pot fry the bacon until done. Add water and 2 cans of mixed veggies and let it simmer. 10 minutes and you’re done! En dis baie lekker ook!

7. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE COLD WEATHER! In the summer you’re not in the mood to have a bunch of people in a close proximity, sweating and breathing on each other. But winter is excellent fondue weather. Light a couple of candles, invite a few people over and light that fondue. It will warm you up AND you’ll all have a great time.

8. SPICE IT UP! Seriously, hot mulled wine is the best thing under the sun! Also, chilly hot chocolate and cinnamon pancakes go hand in hand with winter. Winter is about spice. Think of it as a delayed Christmas if we had Christmas in the dead of winter. Spiced cookies, spiced teas, spiced drinks… they’re all MUSTS this winter!

I put it to you girls! If you got any other suggestions please put them in the comment box below! What’s your winter survival trick?

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