Coping with the winter

I keep hearing from people how hard this winter has been on them. So I wanted to share a few tips I use to keep from getting into the funk over the winter. 

  1. Go outside for a walk. I know it is terrible out, the rain is harassing, its muddy, its cold. But trust me just do it. Get your rain gear on and go for a stroll around the neighborhood. Not many people will be out and you will enjoy some fresh air.
     
  2. Change the lights in your house and office to full spectrum lights. Full spectrum lights offer all the wavelengths of light that are beneficial to plant and animal life. And you are an animal you need more light- especially if you are spending all day inside.
     
  3. Make sure you are feeding yourself and doing your due diligence to plan your meals.
     
  4. Get a wake-up light and stop using your phone as an alarm. Your phone can be a very jarring way to wake up and often will pull you out of a deep sleep. Also think about it from an animal perspective- if you are being woken by a noise it is probably something trying to eat you- that is stressful on your nervous system. Instead get a wake-up light that slowly increases the brightness in your room and then if you don't wake up from the light it plays some light bird or wave noises and gradually increases the volume. This gives you more of a chance to adjust to the changes in light outside and to smoothly transition from sleeping to waking.
     
  5. Make sure you are getting exercise that feels playful to you. That can be walking, running, swimming, biking, climbing, dog walking, yoga, zumba, HIT, jumping jacks, jump rope, or tag with your cat in the hallway. It doesn't matter what you as much as it matters that you do it. You will release more endorphins and feel better
     
  6. Vitamin D- my favorite is biotics research pre-emsulsified drops.
     
  7. Spend time with people you care about. The Danish have this concept of Hygge- a kind of cosiness. Get cosy! Its dark and yucky outside. Make your home warm and go to your friends houses who are also in a warm receiving mood. Play a board game or cards!
     
  8. Eat probiotics- but you don't need to buy them from the healthfood store. Just get yourself some good old fashioned pickles, yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, or any other fermented thing (non-alcoholic) that you want to eat. It will improve the flora that is living inside your intestines. Did you know your intestines are responsible for approximately 90% of your serotonin. (http://www.caltech.edu/news/microbes-help-produce-serotonin-gut-46495)  

Gentle Point has provided this material for your information. It is not intended to substitute for the medical expertise and advice of your primary health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any decisions about treatment or care with your health care provider.