If you’re like me feeling all bluesy when days are at their shortest and grey is the overwhelming colour, inside and outside your head, here are some tips to stay zen and positive during the cold season.
So, what happens with the winter blues?
The extreme form of this is called SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder. SAD is a cyclical form of depression caused by changes in the circadian rhythm— that’s the 24-hour internal clock that regulates all the body processes.
As we have less and less light in winter, two main hormones are affected. One –there is a surge of melatonin and that makes us feel all sleepy and two – serotonin, the feel-good molecule suddenly drops and hello lethargy, depression, irritability and weight gain. Not a great mix!
So, what are my top 10 tips for beating the winter blues?
- Take Vitamin D3
Vitamin D3 is not actually a vitamin, it’s a steroid hormone manufactured in the body from direct exposure to sunlight. Because sunlight is weak or scarce in some winters, be sure to buy Vitamin D3 supplements to make up for lost sunlight!
- Invest in a high-quality light therapy sun lamp
Light therapy sunlamps are saviours if you don’t see much daylight for weeks on end. Be sure to invest in a high-quality sun lamp that you can use throughout the day for 15 minutes at a time.
- Hibernate happily – hygge hygge!
Sometimes it’s best to surrender to winter and take up hibernation like a bear. So, take this as an opportunity to watch movies you’ve always wanted to see or curl up on the couch with a good book. Get all cosy in your favourite woolly socks, light up a few candles and chilllllll.
- Eat warm, nourishing comfort foods
Use this time to make those rich bean soups and hearty squash and root vegetable stews that you’ve been wanting to try. It’s actually one of Chinese medicine’s main recommendations in the cold season – warm foods keep your digestive fire roaring and a smooth digestion is a top priority for a happy body and serene mind.
Have you ever tried congee? It’s a rice soup that’s super hydrating and balancing for the stomach and spleen which I turn to when I feel down, coldish or bloated – or all 3! It’s super easy to make, here is the recipe.
- Layer up and go for walks outside in the cold, fresh air
Just because it’s cold outside, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go outside. So, put on your best woollies, down jackets and heattech tops and take a stroll on a freezing wintery morning and return home invigorated.
- Soak up in a hot tub or sauna
There is nothing that raises your body heat quite like soaking it up in a hot tub or sauna. Just do it weekly throughout winter! You can’t go wrong.
- Find an exercise class that makes you sweat
Getting your body moving floods you with feel-good endorphins. So, find a high energy dance class like Zumba or African Dance or do some heated Bikram yoga. No time? Have you tried HIIT classes? They are the best the keep your metabolism right up in the minimal time.
Your goal is to be proactive and organised in winter. That’s what we do in coaching sessions – bit by bit, I help you put in place those important steps so that your wellbeing is not an after-thought.
If you need a personalised approach, why not book a free discovery session to take stock and find out which healthy strategies you can implement to best live the winter season… and the ones after!
To your feeling and looking great naturally!