Winter will soon be upon us - and not only will it get colder - statistics show it is a time when we are most vulnerable to mistakes and incidents. In fact, it’s reported in the UK that September to April is a time when up to 1 in 5 people could suffer the Winter Blues affecting concentration, confidence, work performance and general well-being.
Here are some handy personal tips the NHS provides to beat those blues for both a happier home and work life….
- Keep active - Research has shown that a daily one-hour walk, in the middle of the day is a great light treatment.
- Get outside - Go outdoors in natural daylight as much as possible, especially at midday and on bright days.
- Keep warm - Being cold makes you more depressed. It’s also been shown that staying warm can reduce the winter blues by half. Keep warm with hot drinks and hot food. Wear warm clothes and shoes and aim to keep your home between 18C and 21C (or 64F and 70F degrees).
- Eat healthily - A healthy diet will boost your mood, give you more energy and stop you putting on weight over winter. Balance your craving for carbohydrates, such as pasta and potatoes, with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.
- Take up a new hobby - Keeping your mind active with a new interest seems to ward off the blues. It could be anything, such as playing bridge, joining a gym, keeping a journal or writing a blog.
The Highways Agency suggests 4 useful guidelines for safer driving this winter:
- For a smoother journey, check your vehicle is ready for winter - Check/replace anti-freeze …ensure lights are clean and check bulbs…ensure windscreen is clean…replace battery if un reliable…ensure tyres are correctly inflated and replace if tread has reached legal minimum.
- For peace of mind, always carry an emergency kit - Ice scraper and de-icer…Torch and spare batteries…Warm clothes and a blanket…Boots…First aid kit…Jump leads…Food and warm drink in a thermos…A shovel…Reflective warning sign…Sunglasses - the glare off snow can be dazzling.
- For a safer journey, adapt your route in bad weather - Even after roads have been treated, driving conditions may remain challenging.
- Be a smarter driver - check weather and traffic updates - Before you set off it's worth taking a few minutes to make sure there aren't any problems on your intended route. You can check for live updates as you travel too - but remember not to use your mobile phone while driving.