Old Man Winter is on the way, and with his arrival, you might start to feel a bit off. You may find it harder to crawl out of bed in the morning, and the siren song of empty calories and carbs grows louder. How can you help your body adjust to seasonal changes? The following 10 tips can help you to adapt.
1. Keep Expectations Realistic
If you have seasonal affective disorder (SAD), you might not feel like training for a marathon or tackling the Great American Novel during the winter. Please don’t beat yourself up if making it through the day is sometimes the best you can do.
Instead, keep your expectations realistic. Don’t push yourself to go on a 5-mile run when the wind howls. Take a walk around the block for sunshine and do a mile on the treadmill. Say yes to some holiday invitations, but don’t feel stressed to RSVP positively to everyone.
2. Light Up Your Life
Many researchers believe SAD occurs due to decreased light exposure. Fortunately, you don’t need a psychiatrist or a prescription to correct the problem.
You can find various lights that mimic the sun’s rays available at most retailers. Some cost less than $30 — invest in one for both home and office.
3. Move That Body Now
New Year’s resolutions or not, you might not want to start a new fitness program in January. Instead, get yourself into the workout groove now.
Exercising releases endorphins, feel-good chemicals your body produces to ease pain and boost mood. While you probably won’t become addicted, you will miss your workout if you develop the habit before the first snowfall. Once you know how terrific it makes you feel, you’ll be less likely to skip the gym.
4. Step Up Your Prep Game
A healthy diet likewise improves your mood and helps you to avoid winter weight gain. Make like a squirrel and gobble up all the magnesium-rich nuts you can find — this mineral helps boost mood. Add a handful to salads or wraps for crunch and nutrition.
Also, take a tip from the Catholics and indulge in fish-fry Fridays. According to Chinese researchers, Europeans who increased fish consumption lowered their risk of depression by 17%.
5. Find A Social Outlet
Don’t wait for the holidays to reach out to your friends and family. Start building that social circle now.
Socializing is the last thing you might want to do when the winter blues strike. However, interacting positively with others increases your feelings of connectedness and helps you ease depression.
6. Cozy Up The Homestead
Take a tip from the Danes and hygge up your home for the winter. This term refers to a feeling of cozy contentment.
How do you achieve it? Break out the blankets and pillows and leave out those novels you intended to read someday. Sweep out the fireplace, light the log and kick up your Sherpa socks while you sip hot cocoa.
7. Invigorate Your Senses
Real estate agents know what’s up. Did you ever notice how open houses always feature freshly baked cookies? They use that trick because the aroma evokes nostalgic, homey feelings.
Do the same with your abode. Stay away from scented candles that can contain toluene. Use soy-based versions or add a few drops of nutmeg and vanilla essential oils to your diffuser.
8. Warm-Up The Teapot
Chamomile and lavender aren’t only for before bedtime, although a cup of this blend can ease you into dreamland. It could also help beat the blues. Although the evidence remains anecdotal, many herbalists swear by the duo for its blues’ busting properties and anxiety relief.
9. Bring The Outdoors In
Way back in the 1980s, NASA studied houseplants to see if they could clean the indoor air on Mars. To their delight, they found that your spider plant could clean toxins like formaldehyde from your home.
If you started a patio container garden, bring them inside for the winter. While you may have to keep pets away from some species, they’ll survive the cold season, and you’ll breathe more comfortably.
10. Hibernate Like Baby Bear
You might feel like sleeping more — that’s natural as the days grow shorter. However, try to make like Baby Bear’s bed. Don’t stay in it for too long or too short a time — strive for “just right.”
Most adults need seven to eight hours of sleep nightly. However, needs vary by individual, so experiment to find a schedule that suits you.
Help Your Body Adjust To Seasonal Changes With These 10 Tips
When the days grow shorter, your body and moods shift, too. Help yourself to adjust to seasonal changes with these tips.
Emily is a freelance writer, covering conservation and sustainability. You can read her blog, Conservation Folks, for more of her work.