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Top tips to lift your spirit this winter

Just because it's dark and gloomy outside, doesn't mean that we have to feel the same on the inside. Here's some ideas to keep your mood light and bright, regardless of the season.

MIX AND MINGLE

Don't be a bear and hibernate until it warms up again. Socialising can actually increase your chance of living to a ripe old age by around 50%.1 That's almost as much as giving up smoking! So start filling your diary up with dinner parties, book clubs, and winter walks with friends and family.

GO BUSH (LITERALLY)

We're so lucky to live in Aotearoa. Seriously. So why not take advantage of nature and boost your mental health and feelings of happiness while you're at it2. It doesn't have to be a multi-day hike either - just five minutes of exercise in a park, garden, or forest can help you feel happier and more confident. So, grab your jackets and get your boots dirty!

FIRE IT UP

If getting outside is not your thing, there are ways to lift your energy levels without having to leave the coziness of your house. To start, try practicing the yoga "chair pose" by bringing your knees and feet together with heels slightly apart, and sitting down and back as if onto a chair. Keep your back straight and hold this position while extending your arms straight up, then breathe in and out through your nose for five breaths. Don't underestimate this pose though - its Sanskrit name, "utkatasana" literally means "intense pose"3, and it will definitely get your blood pumping.

SLEEP ON IT

Do you feel more tired in winter? Blame it on the shorter days. Less sunlight makes our body think it should produce more melatonin (sleep regulating hormone), which leaves us feeling sluggish and tired rather than happy and peppy4. The good news is we can beat this cycle by making the morning sun our friend. 10-15 minutes of morning sun exposure, even on a cloudy day,  is enough to tell our body to stop producing melatonin5. If you don't have time to bask in the sun before rushing to work, you can try eating your breakfast in a well-lit space.

BUST THAT STRESS

One of the biggest deterrents from lifting the spirits is stress. While a little stress is good, too much of it can affect your mood and sleep, which we definitely don't need at this time of year. Worries over being able to take care of loved ones if things go wrong are often at the top of the worry list - that's why we make it easy for you to get the right protection in place. AA Life offers a range of life insurance policies so you can select the one that best suits your situation and budget, from Life Cover to more specific things like sudden cancer diagnosis or accidents. That way, you can sleep easier knowing that all you need to worry about are things like where you left your umbrella.

 

Life cover

Life Cover

Life Cover from AA Life can make the hardest time just that little bit easier for those you love.


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Funeral Cover

Funeral Cover

Funeral Cover is a simple way to help your loved ones pay for your funeral costs.


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Health Cover

Health insurance

AA Health provides quality, affordable cover and reassurance for you and your loved ones


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SOURCES

1 http://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1000316
2 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3710158/
3 https://chopra.com/articles/15-minute-warming-yoga-sequence-for-winter
4 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4673349/
5 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2290997/

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