It’s Autumn. Which means it’s winter soon. We now have officially more hours of darkness than light, and the clocks went back so it’s dark at 17:00.

If this fills you with horror, gloom and an impending sense of doom fear not – there are some great hacks and gadgets out there to help you keep your sunny disposition. Here are our top 6 life savers for the darker months

1: Vitamin D pills

Guys, take your vitamins. Specifically this magic, happiness inducing, nervous system restoring vitamin. This is the vitamin we get from sunlight, and a lack of it will make us sluggish, apathetic and downright sad. So stock up and take one a day till its sunscreen time again. As zinc and magnesium help with the absorption of vitamin D, take these minerals as supplements too to reap the full benefit.

2: Sunrise alarm

I don’t know how I ever lived without this wonderful invention. Getting up in the dark has got to be one of the worst things about winter, and this clever lamp mimics sunrise so your body wakens naturally. Simply set the soothing alarm and up to 40mins before, the lamp will start glowing a deep red, brightening up to full light by the time the alarm goes off. Your body will have shifted out of deep sleep to a lighter state, leaving you feeling refreshed and ready for the day

Good news: you can just find them on eBay

3: Sun lamp

Again, going back to that wonderful vitamin D, this floor lamp produces a natural light that emits vitamin D giving rays. Sit under it in the evenings or those days when it feels like it doesn’t even get light and trick your body into thinking the sun has come out. With a few settings – warm, natural and cool, you’ll find the right light for you. And no, you don’t need sunscreen, it’s not a sun-bed!

4: Get outside

Even with the pills, alarm and lamp, you need to get outside and get some fresh air. This has multiple benefits, moving your body (more on that in point 5), stimulating your senses, and helping you feel like you’ve done something with the day. Even a 20min stroll will have positive mental and physical effects, so remember, there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing.

5: Move your body

Tempting as it is to stay snuggled on the sofa with Netflix and a family sized box of chocolates, you’ll feel much better if you move your body. Yoga and fitness classes are great activities to take up when it’s too cold and miserable to be outdoors for long. Instructors will even come to your home so you can get personalised teaching without having to get to a studio! By improving your metabolism, focusing your mind and releasing endorphins, you’ll be a great mood after a session, we promise.

6: Socialise

Bears are onto something with their hibernating. However, we are not bears and staying in night after night with only your laptop for company is not good for you. We are social creatures and need human face to face interaction. So make yourself see people – invite friends over for dinner, go to a meet up, take a class in something. Even if you’re tired, the stimulation of engaging with like-minded people will give you energy and put a smile on your face.

So even though the sun might not be with us for the next few months, there’s enough we can do to keep us sane, and even happy, if we just know how. And when we need a real dose of sunshine, I’ll be at our winter surf and yoga retreat in the Canary Islands at the end of January!

Do you have any other tips for surviving winter? Have you got a sunrise alarm or sunlight lamp? What do you think of them? I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments below!