The cold weather really has taken a hold recently. And as we move solidly into winter in the UK, it might be easy to let the lack of sunshine and freezing temperatures put a dampener on our spirits.

In addition, as the days get shorter and the nights longer, the chill in the air brings with it the kind of germs and nasty illnesses that can make us feel even less chipper.

But never fear, because there are some brilliant ways to enhance your winter wellness and have you feeling better in yourself in no time at all. Check out the following ways to be happy and healthy this winter…

Eat right, stay happy

Lack of sunshine not only disrupts our sleep and waking cycles in winter, but it also means a Vitamin D deficiency which can lead to tiredness, weakness, muscle and bone pain.

However, in the absence of this bright form of vitamin D, good sources can be found in the food we eat, which is one of the reasons why it makes sense to pay attention to our diets throughout the winter months to help us feel better. Excellent food sources of vitamin D include fortified breakfast cereals, fatty fish, such as tuna and salmon, dairy products like cheese, eggs and low fat spreads.

In addition, upping levels of other vitamins and nutrients can help boost the immune system and ward off disease. These sort of immune boosting vitamins, such as Vitamin C, B6 and E, which are great for keeping bugs and illnesses away, can be found in many kinds of food:

Vitamin C – brussels sprouts, red peppers, spinach, kale, kalettes, oranges and strawberries.
Vitamin E – nuts avocado, oily fish and leafy greens
Vitamin B6 – fish, beef, poultry, pork, tofu, starchy vegetables

Comfort food need not be all about high levels of sugar, saturated fat or processed food. Instead, try and incorporate lots of fruit and vegetables into your diet to make a delicious and comforting winter meal.

Tackle tiredness

As mentioned above, it’s so easy to feel more tired in the colder winter months, which in turn makes us feel pretty miserable, but there are some brilliant ways to combat it:

● Get as much natural daylight and sunshine as possible – so when the sun does come out, wrap up warm and get outside for a long walk or run.
● Get a good solid night’s sleep – between 7-9 hours – and go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
● Make yourself feel calmer, with yoga or meditation – or energised and happy with regular cardiovascular exercise.

It’s vital for most adults to get around 8 hours sleep per day, as, according to NHS guidelines, regular poor sleep puts you at risk of serious medical conditions, including obesity, heart disease and diabetes – and it shortens your life expectancy, not to mention putting you in a bad mood.

Finally, other ways to enhance winter wellness over the colder months might include the following:

● Get together with friends and family and have some fun
● Take time for yourself to be pampered or do something you enjoy
● Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water
● Have your flu jab
● Brighten up your living space with fresh flowers and bright colours
● Give yourself something to look forward to. Whether it’s a night out, shopping trip, or glass of wine at the end of the day.
● Remember to keep smiling – it’s guaranteed to make you feel better!