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Overcoming the winter blues

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Today is known as Blue Monday and you may well be feeling the January blues – bank balance low, feeling enlarged, the festive season feeling like it was a long time ago and Easter feeling like it’s a long way away.

Take a rain check and look on the positive side that you had a fun time over the festive season and now is the New Year and time for a New YOU!

It’s the time of year to set yourself some goals and start afresh!  So how can we get ourselves back on track?

Diet

Try to avoid dieting and cutting out food groups but instead eat regularly, don’t skip breakfast, try to cut out the junk foods which are high in sugar and saturated fat and replace with more fruit and vegetables, protein, dairy and wholegrain starchy foods. Increase your omega 3 levels by eating healthy fats found in oily fish, nuts, olive oil and avocado which can enhance your mood levels and improve your brain function. Read about what is included in a Mediterranean diet which can help towards having a healthier heart.

You can also download the NEW and improved Food Scanner App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play to see how much sugar, saturated fat and salt are in the foods you buy.

Drink plenty of water to fight those headaches and stay hydrated. Reduce your portion size and replace those snacks which can be high in sugar and salt with healthy alternatives such as plain nuts, fresh fruit and fresh tomatoes, cucumbers or breadsticks with a nourishing dip such as hummus.

Exercise

Don’t beat yourself up about the fact you have not done any exercise over the holiday period and over eaten. Instead think about what you can do to increase your exercise levels now. Go for a brisk walk and download the Active 10 app. Check out the One You Hounslow Move More page for activities happening within the borough and to sign up to local exercise classes and health walks.

Set yourself a challenge which involves physical activity, but don’t be too hard on yourself and opt for specific, measureable, achievable, realistic and timely goals.

If you are worried about your child’s weight then sign up to the FREE family Change4life programme and there is also a FREE Confident You programme for teenagers which involves fun weekly physical activities and interactive education to improve your child’s health and wellbeing.

Alcohol

January is a good time to ‘take a break from the booze’ after over indulging on alcohol during the festive season. Download the Dry January app to help you take a break from alcohol and see how it can benefit your health and your wealth!  One You Hounslow will be promoting Dry January so keep an eye out for some of our upcoming events.

If you don’t end up sticking to dry January spread your alcohol intake over the week rather than binge drinking and where possible dilute your drinks with water or juice. Remember alcohol contains calories so keep an eye on how many drinks you have.

Mood

The New Year can feel like an anti-climax after Christmas, but hang in there! There is lots you can do to help yourself feel better.  Contact One You Hounslow and speak to one of our health advisors on 020 8973 3530, who will help you set some realistic goals, they can also help you join a fun interactive Zumba or yoga class to make your feel good.

Make time for yourself, read a book, practice mindfulness, make sure you have a routine, take a break and relax.

You could also cook a quick and easy nutritious meal from scratch (see the Easy Meals app for ideas) or do something for a charity you want to raise money for such as a 5k run or walk which can help you feel of benefit to others whilst you get active.

You could also do something with your friends and family or try something new which are all really good ways to improve your overall mood. If you are feeling stressed try out the NHS Stress and Anxiety app.

So pick up the phone, contact One You Hounslow on 020 8973 3530 and one of our health advisors will help you beat your January blues.

Gopika Papiah
Childrens Healthy Weight Advisor

Young woman jumping