7 Tips for Busy Women to Boost Mood and Health in Winter

Have you ever noticed that some people handle the colder months so much better than others?

What about you?

I used to detest the cold.  I remember when I was a kid in Canberra, the pipes would freeze overnight and Mum used to fill up containers of water the night before so we could wash in the morning and brush our teeth.  It seemed so much colder then but I’m sure it has more to do with housing insulation and better heating than temperature 🙂  

Winter can be fantastic. It’s a time for coats, scarves, boots and gloves and I have quite a collection (just saying….)

Now, I’ve changed the way I think about the cold.  By looking at it positively it’s really changed the way I tolerate it.  Interesting!

“Winter blues” is a general term that describes the mild depression, lack of motivation and low energy that many people experience when the weather turns nasty.

It’s actually fairly common, and usually fades when spring is on the horizon – but there are some simple actions you can take to boost your mood and health while waiting for the warmer weather.

1.  Exercise

Don’t stop exercising just because it’s cold.  A brisk walk can do wonders to lift your mood, warm you up and make you feel alive. You’ll have more energy during the day, your brain will release more “feel good” chemicals and exercise is a great stress reliever. Put on warm clothing and get out and enjoy the fresh air.

2.  Get a Little Sun

Yes, it can be scarce.  But when it does appear from behind those clouds, go outside and soak up the rays.   Sunshine makes you feel good, warms your heart and soul and boosts your Vitamin D.  During winter your Vitamin D levels will drop, and getting natural sunlight can boost your stores, but if you are testing low for Vitamin D, it’s advisable to take a supplement during the winter months.  Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for immune function as well as protecting you against disease.

3.  Eat Healthy

The cold weather, added with feelings of low energy and low mood, can cause us to crave carbohydrates, especially the bad ones high in sugar. Don’t be a slave to your cravings.  What and when you eat is important to keep your blood sugar stabilised which will have a positive effect on your mood, your energy and your brain function.   Winter is the best time for highly nutritious soups, curries and one-pot stews.   Break out the slow cooker and get inventive with your ingredients.  Use fresh herbs liberally, and don’t forget the garlic.

Save time in the kitchen – cook once, eat twice.  Here’s some of our cook once, eat twice recipes to try:

Chicken and Winter Vegetable Soup

Veggie Moussaka

Baked Eggs and Beans

4.  Get Social and Treat Yourself

Winter can sometimes seem endless and your motivation can disappear quicker than your healthy resolutions.  Plan regular events, trips away, social get-togethers etc that will give you something to look forward to. Nurture yourself with regular massages or perhaps it’s time to book that retreat you’ve always wanted to do.  Mood always improves when we have something to look forward to. Try not to hibernate but make an effort to upgrade your social calendar to include some wintry activities.

5.  Keep to a Routine

Nothing will affect your mood and energy more than having your body clock out of whack. Even though the sun doesn’t come up as early, it’s essential that you keep to your normal waking routine, even on weekends.  Otherwise, you run the risk of getting your normal bio-rhythms out of sync and the fall out will be sleep difficulties at night and fatigue during the day.

The Rebuild Your Life Journal can help you to set up and stick to a daily routine.  To find out more about the Rebuild Your Life Journal, click here.

You can purchase it at the Clinic or through the iNaturally shop.

Read more about daily habits and routines and What Smart Women do Daily to Get What They Want – by clicking here.

6.  Winter Essentials

Revisit  your supplements.  Having immune booster herbs such as Echinacea or Astragalus are essential to keep you on top of colds and flu. And, don’t forget Elderberry which has proven anti-viral activity.  A Vitamin B complex is also a good idea as we do tend to use up more of these nutrients when we are feeling low. Stock up on zinc and vitamin C and remember vitamin D.

7.  St Johns Wort

If you’re finding that you just can’t get on top of your low mood, St Johns Wort has proven therapeutic benefit in mild to moderate depression.   It might be just the support you need in the short term to get you up and going again.  But, please get professional advice as it is contraindicated with some medications.

Some simple tips to get you through winter.

With your health in mind,

Catherine

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