Self / 25.08.2017

5 expert tips to stay summer happy all year long

By Francesca Specter
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Summer is coming to an end – cue shorter days and colder temperatures. Sounds pretty dismal, doesn’t it?

Traditionally, May to August is a period where we feel more uplifted, thanks to a summer getaway, a renewed focus on looking after our bodies and a packed social calendar (because July nights go on forever). Then, we tend to feel sad about the onset of autumn and winter.

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But it doesn’t have to be like that. Yes, summer’s almost over, but that doesn’t mean your sunny outlook and tip-top fitness regime need to fade away with it. After all, there’s a lot to love about this time of year, including more time to watch Netflix, snuggly autumn/winter clothing and CHRISTMAS (yes, we went there).

To help fortifying you for the happiest and healthiest, we spoke to expert psychologists Professor Lance Workman, Anna Hamer and Ingrid Collins on how to make that summer feeling last all year around:

Exercise outdoors

‘This is important all year round, but never more so than now, when exposure to sunlight is so vital,’ says Professor Workman. ‘Take a brisk walk for 30 minutes or more, at least three times a week – ideally in the morning or at lunchtime.’

Take a vitamin D supplement

‘The body needs sunshine to make vitamin D, as it can be difficult to get the amount you need from your diet; a supplement* can top up your levels and improve your mood,’ advises Collins.

Stay social

‘In many ways, it’s easier to be social in winter,’ says Hamer. ‘Summer holidays, wonderful as they are, create havoc with work schedules, childcare and regular social arrangements. Plan Sunday roasts, book clubs or tness activities. You almost always feel better afterwards.’

Use a light box

‘This can be useful for people with seasonal affective disorder (SAD),’ says Professor Workman. ‘It works for 85 per cent of sufferers. You need one of 5000 lux (a unit of illuminance), and ideally use it for an hour a day.’

Set goals

‘These can be used as “markers” that help you feel productive or get the creative juices owing,’ says Hamer. ‘Find something you love doing so much you’re totally immersed. It could be writing, poetry, a form of exercise or a new craft class.’

Want to read more? Check out our #feelgood365 campaign in the latest September issue of Healthy magazine. 

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