The winter can be a magic time, but sometimes the cold days seem more of a drag than an inspiration. In the heart of Winter, it’s important to keep looking after ourselves; taking time to relax and nourish ourselves physically and emotionally. It’s no wonder that many people report feeling “down” around this time of year. In fact, we’re physically burned out. One major symptom of adrenal fatigue is depression.
It’s important to know that the winter season is THE most important time of the year to heal the adrenals. We are given shorter days by Nature for a very important reason…so that we can rest, rejuvenate our adrenal and Valentine’s energy…and be ready for rebirth, renewal and of course, reproducing in the happy, warm, beautifully-romantic days of spring.
The creation of electricity took us another step away from nature. Today many of us check our emails late at night, play computer games or watch TV with light shining brightly into our eyes. This is more damaging to our health than most of us realize. The winter blues are so common that we even have a name for them: Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD. SAD typically involves a pattern of depressive or manic episodes that eat more.
Common symptoms are:
- Craving sugar and carbs
- Sleeping more
- Feel more tired
- Weight gain
- Withdrawn socially
If so, you could be experiencing the aptly named, SAD. The causes of SAD vary. They could include less sunlight, colder temperatures, more social isolation or even the stress of coping with winter holidays. There are plenty of ways to counteract SAD using diet and lifestyle choices.
Here are a few simple ideas to avoid winter blues:
1. Exercise! Moving your body pumps blood and oxygen into all of your systems, warming up your body during these cold months. Taking a walk outdoors is especially invigorating, but be sure to bundle up before you head out! Exercise is also a wonderful way to decrease stress and naturally increase your dopamine levels (your feel-good hormone).
2. Let there be light! Embrace those crisp sunny days when we get them! Even the weak winter sun gives us tangible health benefits, like helping your skin synthesize vitamin D, giving us those breathtaking views and naturally brightening up our days.
3. Sleep more. Set your internal clock with the sunrise and sunset. Wake with the sun and start to wind down your day when the sun sets. You can wind down after dinner by playing board games with your children or reading a chapter in an inspirational book.
CREATING THESE NEW HEALING HABITS CAN GO A LONG WAY TOWARD BOOSTING YOUR MOOD.Try to avoid the blue light that shines from our cell phones, TV screens, and tablets. When blue light shines into our eyes, it has been shown to decrease the amount of melatonin being released by your pineal gland. Melatonin, our sleep hormone, is responsible for making you fall asleep. The hours you log in before midnight are the most beneficial for your sleep, and overall feeling of rest and rejuvenation. This natural sleep rhythm will help your body (and your mood) adapt to the season.
4. Watch your sugar consumption. Many of us know that consuming too much sugar can affect our body in negative ways. Sugar has been shown to have a negative impact on your moods, energy levels, cravings and even immunity. Reducing your sugar intake or opting for natural sugar like substances such as Stevia can still give you the sweet taste without the unhealthy components of sugar. In recent studies, sugar has been linked to mood disorders and may even cause depression.
5. Make homemade soups. Warming and nutritious soups are the perfect meal for cold days. Try adding in our Bone broth to your favourite recipes, increase your immunity and enjoy the comforts of the cold weather favourites. You can find our warming recipes on our website. Another warming favourite is Maca hot chocolate. Maca & cacao are great for the adrenal health, balancing hormones and naturally boosting mood.
6. Spend time with friends and family. Laugh, play fun games, and spend time in the company of people who are positive. Surrounding yourself with positive people can affect your outlook and mood, and it can also help you stay away from the winter blues. Take time to enjoy a yoga class or dive into that book you have been meaning to read.
7. Meditation or prayer. Meditation focuses your attention and decreases stress. Taking 30 minutes out of your busy schedule to relax and regroup with meditation or easy yoga poses can be an amazing way to welcome the darkness of winter with joy.
8. Find calm. Take calming supplements like Holy Basil, Ashwagandha, L-Theanine and GABA or drink a cup of herbal tea. Good old-fashion chamomile tea with lemon and honey is great for children.
You can also go a long way toward boosting your mood by creating these new healing habits AND by changing your perspective to a positive outlook.
If you nourish your body and your soul during this darker time of the year, you’ll emerge in spring with renewed health and vitality.