How to Turn the Winter Blues into Blue-Sky Days

Trying to figure out how to get out of that winter slump? Psychologist and life coach Dr. Cliff Arnall says “Whether embarking on a new career, meeting new friends, taking up a new hobby or booking a new adventure, January & February are actually great months to make those big decisions for the year ahead.”

Here the College of Medicine picks expert tips sourced from the NHS and Mental Health Charity Mind on how to remain positive if gray clouds descend.

GET SOME EXERCISE: Even a brisk 10-minute walk can work wonders for the mood. Physical activity can relieve depression and anxiety

EAT WELL: Improving your diet may help to improve your mood, give you more energy and help you to think more clearly

SLEEP! Switch off electronic devices an hour before bedtime and avoid staying up late. Eight hours’ sleep can prove a tonic

GET OUTDOORS: Enjoy the fresh air; tackle the garden, go for a stroll during your lunch hour, ride a bike…all great ways of fighting off the mood-dampening dark mornings/evenings

SEEK HELP: If daily life feels overwhelming consider speaking to your GP, or even friends and family. Don’t suffer alone

AVOID EXCESSIVE DRINKING: The answer is rarely in the bottom of the glass and a hangover is only likely to worsen your mental health

MAKE NEW CONNECTIONS: Combat loneliness by committing to a new class, for example, a free/low-cost local walking group or an art class, as a way of widening your social circle

DO SOMETHING KIND: Paying it forward is a brilliant mood enhancer; whether it’s baking a cake for a friend or calling on an elderly neighbor, everyone wins with kindness

BE MINDFUL: Taking time to live in the moment can help lift spirits. Press pause on the stresses of a busy life and try and be more aware of being in the present