Boosting your Mood
- Get outside and make the most of the winter sun to keep your Vitamin D levels up, or take a supplement during the darkest months.
- Keep moving – exercise raises the spirits, so resist the temptation to ‘hibernate’.
- Try rejuvenating your serotonin levels with a light box that features blue light-emitting-diodes.
- Allow extra time for your journey in bad weather so that you are not driving under pressure.
- Keep emergency supplies in the car in case you break down when it’s cold – water, blanket, snack – ensure your mobile phone is well charged and that you have emergency assistance numbers handy.
- Drive slowly and concentrate on what is going on around you when it’s dark to give yourself the best chance of avoiding hazards – reduced visibility makes it harder to judge distance and speed.
- Have your eyes checked regularly, as this can identify problems such as Glaucoma which affects night vision.
- Turn your headlights on before sunset and keep them on for an hour after sunrise so it’s easier for other drivers to see you in twilight.
- Keep your windscreen and headlights clean to avoid glare from lights at night and so that you can see the road ahead clearly.
- Don’t get dazzled by oncoming headlights, it helps to concentrate on the left hand kerb or central white line in the road.
- A long journey in the dark can make you feel particularly drowsy, so take regular breaks and drink a stimulating coffee or tea.
- Ensure you have lights and reflectors fitted that meet the legal requirements: your front light must be white and have a 110 degree visibility, your rear light must be red, you must also have a red rear reflector and BS6102/2 amber reflectors on the front and rear of each pedal.
- Ensure the batteries in your lights have plenty of life in them.
- Wear reflective, hi-viz, clothing.
- Add reflective strips to shoes, gloves, back packs, wrists and gloves.
- Consider wearing a rear light on your back pack or cycle helmet.
- Walk confidently and purposefully and avoid dark short cuts.
- Let someone know where you are going and what time to expect you back.
- Keep your valuables in a place that’s not easy for a pick-pocket to access.
- Have your car keys somewhere safe but readily accessible to avoid fumbling for them in the dark – thieves are opportunistic so don’t give them reason to target you.
- Wear bright or reflective clothing so that it’s easy for motorists to spot you.
- Avoid wearing headphones so that you are aware of people around you.
- Consider carrying a personal alarm if you are at all nervous about places you have no choice but to walk.
Boosting your Immune System
- Wash your hands regularly, particularly after touching others, and avoid touching your own nose and eyes – they are a good route in to your body for germs.
- Eat plenty of fruits and fresh vegetables.
- Make sure you are getting enough sleep, particularly if you start to feel a bit under the weather.
- If you are eligible, take advantage of your free flu jab.