Many of us might say that being less active in the winter is the normal cycle of life. A less peppy mood may be typical in this season, but for some people, cold weather and lack of sunshine bring on more than the usual winter blahs. If you live in a northern part of the country, where skies are normally gray from October to March, it’s not uncommon for a lack of sunshine to make you feel depressed. Research has proved that brain chemistry is affected by bright light, although the exact process is not clear.
In general, I tend to eat and sleep more in the winter and experience more ups and downs during the shorter days. Winter brings about weight gain and a lack of energy for people in general. But I am experiencing this more than normal….and I live in a southern state. But it has been cold and dreary for the last three weeks. I need some relief. Let me share some ideas with you.
Vitamin D When you’re stuck inside all day, your body lacks vitamin D that comes from the sun naturally. This vitamin seriously boosts your immune system. (Ever wonder why we get so sick in the winter?)
Exercise Walking is the best exercise for you. Unfortunately, if it’s raining or icy where you live, an outdoor stroll is out of the question. When living in Wisconsin, I mapped out a path in my church that if followed gave my Low Carb Group a one mile walk. We met three times a week and walked. That was very helpful.
Make Your Bed OK I know this sounds just plain dumb. But this is an easy way to feel accomplished on days you are just feeling overwhelmed and trapped inside. Straighten your sheets, fluff your pillows, stand back and look at what you accomplished. This one also works to help prevent me from going back to bed! HA!
Eat Seasonally A lot of the vitamins our bodies lack in the winter can be found in foods that are ripe this time of year. Foods that are high in Calcium, Vitamin C, B, D, and A are great this time of year. Stick to apples, squash, onions, carrots — basically brightly colored veggies and fruit that you would typically see at a traditional Thanksgiving feast. I had a great sweet potato the other day….hit the spot! I felt better after eating it!
Drink Plenty of Water Just drink plain old water. Hydrating yourself is paramount to feeling your best. It will curb cravings, flush out toxins, keep you “regular” and relieve sluggishness. But I know that drinking enough water is really hard in the winter months. So let me make a suggestion: Try drinking non-caffeinated tea. My doctor made that suggestion years ago to get in all eight glasses of water during a day. It’s warm, you can add some lemon to make it interesting. Try it…Celestial Seasonings have some really good flavors, reasonably priced and no caffeine.
Quote of the Week…..Whatever you decide to do, make sure it makes you happy.