Friday, February 4, 2011

The Winter BLAHS ...

Show of hands: Who's in "hibernation mode" until spring?  It's OK.  You're not the only one by a long shot.  It happens to the best of us.  We don't feel like getting up and moving.  We just want to eat.  And eat.  And eat.  Yep, we still have our everyday responsibilities; we're not bears!  But often we feel like simply sleeping, lounging and eating our way through winter.  What's a human to do?!  Well, here are a few suggestions and ideas...


SUNLIGHT is our friend.  Yes, even in bitter cold temperatures.  Even if you can't get outside, standing/sitting by a window, soaking in as much sunshine as possible, helps boost the mood:
Sunlight triggers our circadian rhythms, our sleep-wake cycles. When sunlight hits the optic nerve, the brain cuts down on the release of melatonin, a hormone that controls sleep, and increases production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter tied to wakefulness and feeling happy. When the sun sets, this cycle is reversed, with more melatonin produced and less serotonin. The more sunlight the body receives, the more serotonin the brain produces. In addition, the body also creates vitamin D from the sun's ultraviolet rays. High levels of vitamin D help our bodies maintain high levels of serotonin. http://www.sharecare.com/question/how-does-sunlight-affect-mood
Another alternative, especially if you're stuck indoors without much sunlight, is to increase your intake of Vitamin D.  Some natural sources of Vitamin D include: catfish, salmon, mackerel, tuna, whole eggs, whole milk, and cod liver oil.


It may also be beneficial to look into a product called a light box, or light therapy device, such as this one: NatureBright SunTouch Plus Light and Ion Therapy Lamp.  These products simulate the sun's natural rays and its effects on our body chemistry.


And, as much as we may want to put it off during winter with the promise of hitting it hard once spring arrives, EXERCISE is very important in lifting our mood and making us feel better throughout the cold months.  It's been said that one hour of aerobic exercise outside (even when it's cloudy) has the same therapeutic effect as two-and-a-half hours of light treatment indoors.  Again, it raises our serotonin levels, helping us feel more alert, awake and happier.


And, who doesn't want to get a head start on that summer beach body?!  I personally am looking VERY forward to warmer weather and this being the FIRST year ever that I will feel confident enough to don a bikini.  So yes, I'm VERY motivated to keep moving all winter long.


There are other methods fight the winter blues, and the following is another great article with several more pointers: http://www.wikihow.com/Fight-Winter-Blues#_note-corn-1

Let's give the remainder of this WINTER our very BEST and be ready for spring and summer together!  Good day and Namaste.

2 comments:

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