Winter can be tough for a lot of people, but for those already dealing with anxiety and depression, it can be just one more obstacle. Although we have been experiencing spring-like weather, this winter is not quite over. Right now, everyone I know is escaping to the sunny south to soak up some well needed vitamin D. If you’re not one of those people (myself included), it is even more important to focus on your health and give your body what it needs to feel great this winter.
I must admit, I’ve never been a big fan of winter and have always experienced some type of “Winter Blues”. By the time January and February rolls around, I feel sluggish, unmotivated, lazy, and sad, for what seems like no reason at all. Luckily, I have noticed a massive difference in the last couple of years and have turned into a bit of a winter lover. Who would have thought?!? After thinking for years that I just wasn’t a “winter person”, I’ve now learned how to enjoy the snow and feel great in winter. Let me share my tips to help you feel the same!
Take Vitamin D Every Day
I cannot stress this enough! Taking vitamin D (the sunshine vitamin) every day in the winter has made a MASSIVE difference for me – more balanced moods and a stronger immune system! Vitamin D is known as the “sunshine” vitamin because it is actually manufactured in the human skin when in contact with the ultraviolet light in the sun’s rays. Wintertime, clouds, smog, and darkly pigmented skin reduce the body’s production of this vitamin and according to recent research, we need far more vitamin D than originally thought. Vitamin D regulates bone formation (especially important in menopausal women), prevents tooth decay and gum problems, has been shown to reduce the incidence of colds, and has been used in the treatment of diabetes, visual problems, allergies, sciatica pain, and skin problems. It also boosts levels of serotonin and dopamine (your FEEL-GOOD hormones) in the brain!
I highly recommend Physica Energetics Solray D Liposome spray, which you can find at both Stonetown Chiropractic & Wellness Centre in St. Marys and Alliance Wellness Centre in Lucan. It tastes great, and the liposomes technology greatly increase absorption and assimilation.
Get Outside Every Day
It’s nature’s therapy. Outside time will boost your immune system and help you escape the indoor germs and bacteria, will help you get more exercise and will provide some vitamin D. There have been many days where all I want to do is curl up with a blanket on the couch, rather than face the cold outdoors. Despite this, I know how much time I am spending indoors and how important the fresh air is for my health. I also know that once I get outside and get moving I will have no regrets, as I always feel more energized and revitalized. Bundle up, and get outdoors, even if it’s for a short time. Sometimes five minutes is all it takes to get the mood-boosting effect.
Exercise is your best option for feeling great in winter and overall well-being. It will help to boost your immune system and will leaving you feeling more confident! We tend to have more downtime in the winter so it is even more important to make stretching and movement a part of your daily routine. I have been enjoying regular yoga and Pilates’ classes lately, as it makes me feel stronger and more flexible. If you don’t feel like travelling to attend a class, there are many, many awesome & free classes online – my personal fav is Boho Beautiful on YouTube. There are many classes to choose from, from beginner to advanced, and with varying lengths so you can enjoy this practice from your own home.
Decrease Simple Carbohydrates in your Diet
Simple carbs equals severe fluctuations in your blood sugar levels. These fluctuations will leave you feeling fatigued, irritable, and constantly craving more carbs and sugar. Replace simple carbs (white bread, white sugar, white rice, refined & processed foods) with complex carbs (sweet potatoes, parsnips, squash, lentils, legumes, whole grains – quinoa, wild & brown rice, millet, buckwheat, whole oats, rye) to stabilize your blood sugar levels and you will find your moods balanced, your energy levels up, and your cravings down.
Increase Your Omega-3 Intake
Omega-3s are one of the essential fatty acids that we must consume in food. They can fight depression and anxiety by maintaining healthy levels of the brain chemicals dopamine and serotonin (your feel-good hormones), and reduce inflammation, including stiffness and joint pain. Most Canadians do not consume enough omega-3 fats and often consume way more omega-6s. An improper balance often leads to even more inflammation. To take advantage of the extraordinary benefits of omega-3s, consume these foods on a regular basis: cold water fish – salmon, mackerel, sardines, trout, herring, cod, and haddock, walnuts, flax seeds, chia seeds, and hemp seeds. If you find it difficult to incorporate these foods into your diet on a regular basis, an omega-3 supplement would be a great alternative!
Boosting your immune system and supporting your body to fight germs will result in less sickness, and an overall better winter experience. This winter’s flu epidemic shows the need for this focus.
So get out there, get active, eat right, and enjoy the cold!
Feel Great this Winter!
Registered Holistic Nutritionist
Registered BioEnergetics Practitioner