1. Eat a Healthy Diet: What we eat affects our mood and energy level. Stay away from refined and processed simple carbohydrate foods like white bread, pastries, sugar and alcohol which zap your energy. They are "anti-nutrients" meaning that they lack nutrients your body needs and, in order to be digested, they use up nutrients already in your body. Eat low-glycemic, complex carbohydrates including sprouted whole grain breads, vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds which provide healthy nutrients and stabilize blood sugar and energy levels. In addition, drink at least 8 cups of pure clean water daily.
2. Take Your Vitamins: If you are not on a good nutritional supplement program, START NOW! At the very least, take Vita-Lea or Vita-Lea Gold a pure, safe, effective multivitamin/mineral. For a more complete foundation, choose Vitalizer. As discussed in the above audio, supplements for mind, mood and stress that can help with the winter blahs are B Complex, Vita-D3, Stress Relief Complex, OmegaGuard, MoodLift (St. John's Wort), Mental Acuity and Optiflora. Wise supplementation will help restore balance to the body, promote optimum health, improve your energy and reduce food cravings Take advantage of the current Shaklee free membership/free product offer. Contact me for help with choosing a program that's right for you.
3. Exercise: It helps you get to and maintain a healthy weight; relieves stress; gives you more energy; improves your mood and keeps your metabolism up so you burn more calories! Exercise also increases serotonin levels which tend to plummet when you have the winter blues; and when serotonin is low, you crave the wrong foods like junk food and soda! (Read How to Stop Sweet Cravings.) Exercise doesn't have to be complicated or require fancy equipment or expensive gym memberships; and being stuck inside is no excuse! Wear a pedometer and make sure you do 10,000 steps a day. Walk around inside your home; use the steps; turn on a favorite tune and dance like nobody's watching! Try bouncing on a rebounder while listening to audios like the one above or watching TV.
4. Get Some Sun: Sunlight provides Vitamin D and, like exercise, improves our mood by releasing neurotransmitters in the brain that affect our mood. Raise the shades, pull back the curtains and expose yourself to natural daylight as early in the day as possible. At home or when out, sit near a window if possible. Use light bulbs which simulate natural light.
5. Limit Alcohol: An occasional glass of wine or beer or even moderate drinking is fine for most people; but alcohol is actually a depressant and may make you feel worse. If you are already depressed, avoid alcohol. "Binge drinking" -- defined as having five or more drinks in one sitting -- is never a healthy choice and may lead to a morning after where you feel sick, moody, depressed and more tired.
6. Plan Activities To Look Forward To: The holidays are often followed by a "let down" feeling which makes the remaining winter seem even more endless. If you can plan something exciting like a trip, that's great, but don't forget about the simple pleasures. Plan get togethers with old friends. Plan "mini" outings to a museum, a show, a movie, a favorite restaurant, etc. Take a class and look forward to learning something new. Take up a hobby or resurrect one you enjoyed in the past and make time to pursue it.
7. Be Good to You: Treat yourself to fresh flowers. Say no to outside demands when you can and use that time for things you enjoy. Relax, read, meditate, write in a journal, try yoga or pilates, watch a favorite TV show or old movie -- make it a comedy and laugh -- or just sit and do nothing!
8. Embrace the Winter: It might require a bit of an attitude adjustment, but decide to enjoy the winter. Bundle up and take a walk outside. Go ice skating, cross-country or downhill skiing, snowboarding, or sledding! Build a snowman or snow fort with the kids or grandkids and make memories. Just don't forget the hot chocolate when you come back inside!
9. Get More Sleep: We all seem to need more sleep -- "hibernation" -- in the winter. Strive for seven to eight hours each night. Maintain a consistent bedtime and wake up time to help normalize your sleeping habits and create more energy. Don't oversleep! Sleeping too much can actually make you feel more tired. Take a midday 10 to 30 minute nap and re-energize!
10. Call a Friend and Be a Friend: If you really feel blue and need a pick-me-up, call a friend. Let them know how you feel and ask for help and encouragement. Sometimes the best way to get out of a funk is to be of service or do something nice for someone else. Try it!