As we come into the Fall season we are usually uplifted by the sights and scents of the season. Namely the changing of the
leaves and scent of burning leaves, fireplaces, pumpkin pie! This is a time that you will hear a lot of people profess to look forward to. It is the season coming that we would love to help you prepare for as Winter brings to many a feeling of gloom and also depression.
We know physiologically that there is a reason for this; days are shorter, there is an overcast to many of the days that for some attributes to a gloomy feeling, there are financial pressures of the holiday seasons, and colder temperatures tend to keep more housebound. Grey skies does not have to be your outlook on the season. It is important because mood alters your physical being and as most of us know those extra pounds are getting harder to get off before the Summer swimming season. There are simple things you can do to stay positive and keep your mood on the sunny side.
Winterize your workout, it can be tough to muster the motivation to make it into the gym or out running the path when the temperature is below nippy. But, in the winter season more than any other exercise can boost your mood, and give you that lift you need. We suggest partnering with someone, jot down your routine you want to keep and reward yourself for keeping it. Keep it interesting so the reward will help motivate you when the weather does not.
Eat your way to an upbeat feeling. Resist the call of fatty, sugary comfort food. Instead use it only as a ‘small’ reward for eating healthier and choose wisely like foods containing mood-boosting ingredients like omega-3’s, good carbohydrates, protein, and vitamin B. Remember fiber-rich foods that contain whole grains increase serotonin, a feel-good chemical in your brain, and steadies your blood sugar levels.
Get your team on! Bears may hibernate, but we are not meant to hide away all winter. Keeping up a good healthy social calendar is a powerful way to boost your mood. Plan some buddy time, whether it is grabbing a quick lunch, meeting up for a spinning class, trying something new like belly dancing with your friends, start a wine tasting club, or plan a hike with a group picnic at the end. Keeping get together routines will help you combat the dark skies.
Make a deal about pleasures that only happen in the winter. Hot toddies and pumpkin pie come to mind. Taking the time to savor the most amazing things this season and only this season offers will pass the time till spring faster. When your mind drifts towards blistery cold days, frozen toes and gloomy skies, refocus on roasting marshmallows, sipping a warm drink in front of a crackling fire or snuggling up under a pile of blankets with your loved ones.
Anticipate a great adventure. Start thinking and planning now for an ultimate escape adventure after the holidays. The planning process of a late-spring or summer expedition will do wonders for perking up your mood. Researching places you would like to visit, stay on top of flight deals or create a dream journal that you cut out and place pictures of possibilities in will brighten your day.
See the light—your body produces D which has been shown to help regulate mood when your skin is exposed to the UVB light. In winter, the sun’s rays are not strong enough to keep up the power of D production. Check to see if you might be D deficient and need to supplement. Consider getting a light box and always take full advantage of stepping out into the light, tilt your chin up, close your eyes and drink it in. Tip: Still use sunscreen!
Brighten your environment—Leave your curtains open, change out your cover and curtains with a light airy color scheme and put lamp timers on to switch on 15 minutes before your alarm to get a ‘dawn simulation’ effect. Use compact fluorescent bulbs in high traffic areas as they mimic sunlight better than incandescent bulbs.
The winter months can bring joy to you when you decide to appreciate the values it has to offer. Nurture yourself when it is too cold or dreary to be outside by baking cookies, cozying up to a fire, reflect on your dreams, reconnect with family and friends with a game night, take time to write letters or call, here in Florida take that walk at lunch as you will not melt in winter, or take up a new hobby that maybe allows you to capture THE BEAUTY OF WINTER.
We can all have a Super-Happy Winter we just need to be intentional about it! ~K.Kirkland