While the festive season is a welcome break for many, others can end up finding it to be an exhausting time. Whether that's because you find it a bit socially draining, or you might find cooking the turkey dinner stressful, or maybe you suffer from winter blues.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) which is also sometimes referred to as "winter depression" is a type of depression with a seasonal pattern that most commonly occurs over the colder and darker months. Some people who suffer from SAD find they benefit from using a best sunrise alarm clock over winter to mimic the feeling of waking up to sunlight.
In 2019 Boston University (opens in new tab) reported that approximately 10 million Americans suffer from SAD. In addition to this, the university revealed that women were four times more likely to be diagnosed with the disorder than men.
Regardless of whether or not you suffer from SAD, energy levels can experience a drop over winter. But this doesn't have to define your festive experience.
In fact, there are various things you can implement over the holiday period to ensure that your mind and body feel healthy and energized as we head into the New Year.
Nutritionist Nicki Williams (opens in new tab), who specializes in helping women rebalance their hormones to overcome things like fatigue and hormone-related issues, has some top tips for boosting your energy over winter.
A nutritionist's guides to boosting your energy over winter
Try taking ten deep belly breaths every morning and night to help lower your stress hormones and increase your energy.
Have the right breakfast
Try to ensure that you start the day off with at least one source of protein in the form of eggs, natural yogurt, oats, nuts or seeds. Having a protein-rich breakfast helps to stabilize your blood sugar between your breakfast and lunchtime, reducing the chance of experiencing a mid-morning slump.
Williams also says that a protein shake is a speedy and filling alternative if you don't have time to whip up something like scrambled eggs in the morning. Take a look at our list of the best protein powders for women if you are looking to stock up on some protein.
Eat and cook with coconut oil
Williams says that coconut oil is a "good fat that won't make you fat". It can help to increase our metabolism and provide you with energy. She even says it can be added to smoothies for an extra boost.
Minimise your exposure to toxins
You could consider filtering your water, eating more organic, switching your cleaning and laundry products to natural brands, and getting rid of ‘fake smells’ like scented candles and air fresheners (you could use one of the best diffusers for essential oils instead).
Eat energy-producing nutrients
Williams highlights the importance of getting your essential vitamins over winter. B vitamins, magnesium, iron, zinc, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and selenium are all necessary nutrients to produce energy in your body. You can source these in vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans or lentils, fish, and meat.
Things like iron and B12 can be harder to get so Williams advises getting your iron and B12 levels tested at the doctor as you could benefit from supplementation.
But there are plenty of vitamins and supplements out there that you can take on the daily such as the best vitamins for women over 50.
Jessica is Staff Writer at Fit&Well. Her career in journalism began in local news and she holds a Masters in journalism. Jessica has previously written for Runners World, penning news and features on fitness, sportswear and nutrition.
When she isn't writing up news and features for Fit&Well covering topics ranging from muscle building, to yoga, to female health and so on, she will be outdoors somewhere, testing out the latest fitness equipment and accessories to help others find top products for their own fitness journeys. Her testing pairs up nicely with her love for running. She recently branched out to running 10Ks and is trying to improve her time before moving on to larger races. Jessica also enjoys building on her strength in the gym and is a believer in health and wellness beginning in the kitchen. She shares all of this on her running Instagram account @jessrunshere which she uses for accountability and for connecting with like-minded fitness lovers.
How to improve your memory: six easy techniques
Our experts offer six simple tips to help you improve your memory – because no matter your age, brain health is important
By Stacey Carter • Published
Does protein build muscle?
Nutrition Does protein build muscle? We cover exactly what you need to know when eating to gain muscle
By Jessica Downey • Published