Well, if you’re where I am – Winter has been here pretty much since before Halloween (sob..). I won’t lie, I am slightly more of a fan of Summer and Fall.
It’s also been an adjustment as the daylight hours disappear at a crazy speed! It definitely takes me a bit of time to get into the winter groove where I actually end up LOVING winter walks with the blue skies and sunshine – and even shovelling snow ain’t so bad …
How about you? Do you love winter?
Today I am digging into strategies to help make this your best winter yet – gone are the winter blues, gone are the carb cravings, fatigue and low moods – let’s plan for success so that we can thrive this Winter!
Lift up your snow shovels with me and say “Aye!”
Okay.. let’s get into it
Winter and our body:
During the Winter, our moods, energy levels and food cravings can change. Our body relies on sunshine to regulate our circadian rhythm which in turn is connected to our melatonin production. Our melatonin and serotonin can be affected with the reduction in sunlight which then can affect our sleep patterns, moods and energy levels.
Cabin fever can happen! Winter blues can happen!
You don’t want to become a mad trapper do you? ?
Let’s get a game plan going and see what we can tweak this year to make this Winter a fabulous one!
How to Thrive this Winter:
Move your body
Getting outside into the fresh air and sunlight can not only increase our energy and mood, but it also helps to regulate our (previously mentioned) circadian rhythm. This can help you to get more energy and sleep better, plus the exercise will increase your oxygen intake and feel good brain chemicals! So, bundle up and sneak out during the lunch hour and go for a 15 minute walk if you can !
The right foods
With the cooling weather, it’s a good time to increase warming foods such as complex carbs (think sweet potato, yams, whole grains) as well as healthy fats (especially omega 3 fats which are essential for brain health, moods support, inflammation reduction and overall health!) Try increasing your healthy fat intake (ex: olive oil, avocados, salmon, coconut oil, organic butter or ghee) and see how you feel over the course of the winter.
Up the Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that is essential to Calcium absorption and our overall health. People living in North America and in the North especially, need a lot of Vitamin D. Some Vitamin D sources are: fish salmon, tuna, mackerel, beef, liver, eggs or fish liver oils. Our sunshine is often too weak during the winter months to give us a good dose – although it’s still essential we get outside and get any sun that we can! Make sure to add a vitamin D supplement to your routine when the Fall season starts – you may notice some positive changes!
When it gets cold and dark we may tend to snuggle up more in the house, become a hermit and watch Netflix marathons (nothing wrong with that!), but it can also be nice to make an effort to get out, see friends and do some fun stuff too! If you tend to become a major homebody in the winter (I do this too), try and make plans with friends (outdoor activities are a bonus!) and get social, have fun and enjoy the winter!
If you can sleep more, then it’s great to listen to your body. Going to bed early and forming a solid n’ consistent sleep routine can have profound benefits on our energy and moods.
This has been the biggest game changer for me this Winter. If you notice your mood changing or energy starting to drop come Fall or Winter, then really consider getting yourself a SUN lamp! Or SAD lamp as they are often referred too. You can use these lamps for 10-30 minutes in the morning or throughout the day to help support your energy and mood. And I tell ya, they make a world of difference. You can feel the benefits usually within a day or so!
*Just be careful to not use the sun lamp too late in the day (like I did), as you won’t be able to fall asleep!
* These lamps do not help to produce vitamin D so make sure to eat well and supplement ?
I think this is the biggest Winter survival tip isn’t it? Skip Winter and head to Costa Rica. LOL! Kidding – some people love the Winter and don’t want to miss a moment of it, while others (if you’re like me) love to have a hot holiday planned. It’s a great way to break up the long Winter season, warm up and see a new place.
If you could go somewhere warm this Winter where would you go?
I hope you enjoyed today’s blog – please share if you did!
PS: If you want to make 2017 your best year yet and reach your health goals, think about booking a discovery meeting with moi!
Hope to chat soon ?