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Tips & Tricks to fight "The Winter Blues"

With the holidays ending, winter temps dropping, and no end yet in sight to the current state of our country, it can be very hard to shake even the normal "blues" off. Now combine that with less sunlight, shorter days & colder temperatures and those "feel good hormones" can seem like a thing of the past. However, by applying these these tips & tricks you may end up skipping your way through winter.

1. Create a Routine

Creating a routine for your body & mind will eliminate a lot of unneeded stress during these sluggish winter months. The cold temperatures and overcast skies will have you wanting to stay in bed all day tucked under your sheets binging on Netflix. {Side note: to be clear, I am not opposed to that behavior, however everything in moderation} Creating a morning and bedtime routine/schedule is super important to keep your body in a rhythm during these dreary months. Try to wake up around the same time daily, and head to bed around the same time. Also try to place your electronic devices down/off one hour before bed. Try reading a book, meditating, or stretching to unwind your body and relax your mind and muscles right before bed.

2. Movement

Moving your body in an aerobic way each day is highly important. We all know that exercise releases feel good hormones called, endorphins, that we all love so much. However, just getting up off the couch and finding the motivation sometimes is an Olympic event itself. You don't always have to equate exercise to the gym, sometimes I turn on my favorite playlist and dance around my apartment or clean hardcore for a good 30 minutes. The important thing is that you are incorporating movement into your daily lifestyle. Other options to make movement fun are: taking a walk with a friend (also socially distant) or trying out a new exercise class (so many are offered via zoom now and YouTube.) Be unique, do whatever movement keeps you entertained but keep it consistent and keep it fun!

3. Diet

Did you know next to the brain the stomach has more sensory neurons than even your spinal cord? Also 90% of your Serotonin is produced in your gut (Serotonin is a hormone that stabilizes our mood, well-being and happiness levels.) Your stomach is also called your second brain (hence the term: gut intuition.) It has been proven time and time again that food is directly correlated to one's overall health. This also includes mental health. Try incorporating my favorite food quote by food author, Michael Pollen, “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.” Remember when you eat good, you feel good and when you feel good you do good.

4. Self Care

When you are running a household, working a demanding job or raising children, you can see how one quickly looses sight of their own needs and wants. I am here however to give you some tough love. If you don't show up for yourself, and your own needs and wants you will not be able to show up as the best version of yourself to anyone else! When you are creating that winter routine, do not forget to add in self care. Self care can be as simple as a bubble bath, reading a book in the sun or giving yourself a facial. You choose what is right for you, only you know what feels good. I personally have a list of self care routines I like to do that make me feel good and when I'm down and out ill peek at it, to inspire myself. Get creative!

5. Vitamins

I have listed below the vitamins I recommend and personally take during winter months. Please consult your doctor or physician if you have any underlying health issues or concerns.

Vitamin D: You naturally get vitamin D from the sun, so with the lack of sunlight and darker days this can help aid in what would easily be absorbed before. I also recommend getting your vitamin D levels checked, a large number of the population is deficient.

Probiotic: taking probiotics will help keep your gut bacteria at optimal health along with a healthy diet. Remember your gut is your second brain.

Folate: Can help with fatigue that comes from overall “winter blues” or depression

Ashawaganda: helps lower anxiety and elevate mood. My mom swears by this stuff. I got her hooked!

B12: helps with energy

In relation to Covid: stack up on Vitamin C, Elderberry, Zinc and a good multivitamin :)


6. Talk to Someone

Sometimes all of these things are not enough. I know, I've been there. There's no shame in needing help for your mental state. ZERO!! Everyone struggles, whether they admit it or not. If you feel the need to speak to someone professional you can reach out to a coach or therapist of your choosing. The important thing is that you talk to someone.

If you are someone you know or yourself might be interested in speaking to someone regarding their symptoms, please feel free to email me or reach out to me on Instagram. We can schedule a free consultation call!

Happy Winter!

Stay Warm & Stay Sane,

Erica


The Emotion Nurse

IG: erica_shack_

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