The winter season is here and with that can bring a slump in mood. Its easy to stay energized and happy when the suns out and the days are long but for many people, winter can be more challenging to keep spirits lifted and to stay active. Because of that, it’s important to practice regular self-care and accept the change in pace that the winter months may bring. We’ve compiled a list of our favourite pick-me-ups this winter.
Light and Vitamin D
One of the main reasons we feel down during winter months is because we are exposed to less light. This directly affects our circadian rhythms and production of serotonin – oue of our neurochemicals that help us to feel energized and happy. When the light and temperatures are reduced in the winter we can feel a slump. Sunlight is also responsible for the production of Vitamin D. When our skin is exposed to the sun it produces Vitamin D which also affects mood.
Up your exposure – particularly skin exposure – to the sun as much as possible during the winter months. Get outside as much as possible. It can be tempting to stay inside when it gets cold but bundling up and getting out there, breathing in fresh air is essential to feeling good! Living in Vancouver it can be next to impossible to get enough sun during the winter months. Aside from fleeing South, there are tools that can help. Consider taking a vitamin D3 supplement to boost Vitamin D levels as well as indoor full spectrum lights that can mimic some of the effects of sun exposure. These are no substitutes for real sun but they can certainly help!
Nourish with in-Season Foods
Supermarkets make it easy to lose track of whats in season. Offerings in markets rarely change from season to season. It may seem strange to some; why not eat tropical fruits and summer fruits when we can ship them here to have whenever we want? Before we had mass transportation people ate what was seasonally available and it turns out there might be some wisdom there.
Many ancient and traditional holistic health practices recommended seasonal eating as essential to optimal health, both physically and mentally. Some practitioners talk about how seasonal foods natural help the body meet season specific challenges such as colds, cough and cases of flu in the colder months.
Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine also discuss how summer fruits and vegetables can be cooling on the body. If we eat these during the winter it can tax our bodies. Instead, they recommend eating more warming, tough foods such as squash, root vegetables and hearty stews and soups can help the body to feel energized, nourished and healthy!
Naturally many of us feel the urge to stay in and rest more. At the same time, many of us feel the push to rush and work hard. How many times have you heard people talk about being ‘busy’ all the time? Let yourself enjoy the change in season with the change in pace. Respect the desire to relax more and spend some time relaxing, reading, going to yoga and enjoying time with friends. Use this time for personal growth and contemplation. When spring comes around you’ll be feeling more rejuvenated and ready for the next phase.
What are some of your favourite ways to take care in the winter?
Feeling the winter blues? Our studio is always warm and welcoming. You can find our class schedule here.