Winter is almost here! And as we head into these colder months, we need to prepare ourselves for the inevitable winter blues. Along with the fresh snow and holiday cheer come shorter days and longer, colder nights. This can present a challenge to our moods, energy levels and sleep patterns. Help lift your spirits, counter the seasonal blues and give yourself a natural boost by trying out some these recommendations.
- Get plenty of Vitamin D
- Take a vitamin D supplement during the winter to keep your intake at about 1,000-4,000 IUs per day. Have a doctor check your levels and monitor them, especially if you are taking high doses.
- There may not be as much sunlight in the winter, but it is still a good idea to get outside whenever possible to naturally boost your energy and mood.
- Eat foods that are rich in Vitamin D, such as eggs, fish, fortified cereals, fortified soy products (like tofu and soy milk), and mushrooms.
- Can’t get enough sunlight?
- Buy a full spectrum light to have in your house. I recommend 2,500 lmx for 20 minutes in the morning. Keep the light the appropriate distance from your face, and only view through your eyelids in the morning.
- Try Litebook Light Therapy (www.litebook.com). You can buy light bulbs your local hardware store.
- Exercise and stay active
- Choose an outdoor winter activity that you enjoy and indulge yourself everyday by getting some fresh air. Whether it is skiing, running or sledding, anything that motivates you to bundle up and head outside is a worthwhile activity.
- As the sun starts disappearing earlier and earlier each night, so should you. Get plenty of rest in these winter months to rest your body and your mind. The hours of sleep that you can get before midnight are the best.
- Keep your immune system strong
- Fight germs by establishing a healthy diet and routine that supports your immune system. Avoid sugars, enjoy plenty of vitamin C and zinc, use garlic, onions and ginger in your meals, drink plenty of water and take a good probiotic to keep your gut healthy and happy.
- Check out our Immune Soup Recipe for a wholesome meal idea for winter.
- Watch what you eat
- Be aware of your sugar intake. While it may taste good, and offer a quick boost to our energy and mood, the spike in your blood sugar levels trigger a stress response. It is best to keep your blood sugar levels even to maintain positive mood and energy levels.
- Enjoy plenty of protein and carbohydrates with each meal, but be sure they are low in sugars and refined or white carbohydrates.
- Try to eat low inflammatory foods to support your brain and CNS, especially those with food allergies. Steamed veggies, grains, legumes, poached, baked or steamed fish, chicken (not the skin), and fruit are all good examples of low inflammatory foods.
“20100115-123530” by Ian Spare, Flickr
“Root Ginger” by Kulinarno, Flickr
“Steam -204/365” by John Flinchbaugh, Flickr