Most people who live in the northern hemisphere dread the onset of winter. The cold weather, the short days and the dreaded flu all contribute to a feeling of gentle gloom.
Some people also are affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)-this is due to shorter natural daylight during the winter and affects some 12 million people across northern Europe. Some hardy souls love the crisp frosty weather and the increasing likelihood of snow but those who suffer from SAD would far rather just hide away during the winter months and hibernate until the spring.
Longer working hours are cited as one of the main contributory factors, the body produces less serotonin (the body's natural â€˜happy hormone') and more melatonin that increases the body's urge to sleep as a result of reduced sunlight. One way of coping with SAD is to use a specially designed light that mimics natural daylight and therefore trick the body into producing greater amounts of serotonin.
Bugs, coughs and colds all seem to adore the winter months. Just look around any form of public transport and you'll soon see fellow passengers with red noses, inflamed eyes and the inevitable pack of tissues. Most offices also act as germ factories but an alternative for any company CEO might be to look at some of the new innovative architectural designs that make a feature of space and light (we found some great examples of these on colorcoat-online.com for those looking for some inspiration). There are plenty of cold remedies on the market but sometimes it's better to have a eucalyptus-based steam bath in order to breathe more freely.
Most people can always cheer themselves up with a good meal. Thankfully winter means thick warming soups, casseroles and wonderful roast meals. These types of foods might not be the best thing if you're on a diet but they do make you feel good.
The other benefit of winter food is that it doesn't really take a lot of preparation-just dice up the nutritious vegetables, add them to the meat, fry all the ingredients together with some herbs and spices and then just place in an oven or slow cooker for a couple of hours. Soups are even easier, all you have to do here is cut up vegetables, add some stock and seasoning whiz this up in a mixer and then gently reheat in time for your meal. It's amazing how much happier people are after a good meal.
Whether you choose to buy vitamins that come in tablet form or you ingest the beneficial vitamins from fruit and vegetables you will be able to build up your immune system and fight off body invasion from winter infections. Flu injections are also effective and will stop you differing days of misery. Products made from royal jelly are also said to be effective in protecting your health. Some people believe that if you have a salt-water gargle at the first sign of a sore throat you'll also be able to ward off any nasties.
Once you've dealt with all the ill effects of theses months you'll soon see that your dread of winter may just be a state of mind.