BY Jennifer Pike
I love being Canadian and enjoying the beauty of our four very distinct seasons but each year I am inundated with emails and requests for support when it comes to the Winter Blues. At this time of year we are all feeling the harsh reality that warmer weather is months and months away. We are faced with lack of being outside and soaking up some sun-shiny Vitamin D and our immune system suffers, energy drops and commitment to our exercise usually begins to fall to the way-side.
Here are 5 tips for a healthier, happier winter season:
Proper nutrition: One of the best ways to set yourself up for success this winter season is to ensure you are filling your plate with an abundance of colorful plant-based foods and that your meals are rich in Serotonin, Dopamine and Norepinephrine. This trio of neurotransmitters is responsible for calmness, increasing happiness, decreasing depression, increasing mental alertness and to manage feelings of satiation and decrease cravings.
Look for a balance of complex carbs, lean protein and healthy fat. Ancient whole grains, naturally gluten-free grains, organic fruits and vegetables, lentils and legumes, lean poultry, grass fed beef, wild fish, organic eggs, raw nuts, seeds, avocados, coconut oil and nut butters.
Beware of highly processed foods, excess sugar and stimulants that will rob you of your happy mojo. Caffeine, alcohol, sugar, artificial sweeteners, fried foods and anything that is man-made processed junk. These foods will literally suck the nutrients and the life right out of you so protect your mood, mind and health this winter and stick to real food.
I also recommend protecting your gut (where 70% of your immune system levels and the production of many of your neurotransmitters occur) by taking a daily probiotic and be sure to take 2000-4000iu liquid Vitamin D daily too.
E2 = Exercise + Energy: People often say they would love to begin exercising in the winter a la “New Years Resolutions” but they have no energy to get themselves going. The irony in this statement is that it’s actually the exercise – and eating healthier – that will give you the energy you are craving to feel better and hit your goals this year. Begin small, start where you are and keep moving forward!
Link Arms with a friend: There is definitely power in numbers and its no different when we are talking about beating the Winter Blues and staying motivated in the darker, colder months. Find a friend to join a new activity like yoga, PIYO, a running club or the gym and keep each other motivated. PS ask the friend who is already active and in a routine, NOT the friend you drink wine and complain about life with…chances are the only exercise you will be doing is with your arm muscles brining the glass to your mouth.
The right Mindset: If you are not already using the 5-Minute Journal I highly recommend it. Numerous studies have shown the benefits of daily journaling and showing gratitude for what we already have; but sometimes it can feel a bit intimating staring at a blank page trying to think of what to write and the 5-minute journal helps by asking you the right questions to keep you engaged, focused and happier on the other side.
Extra Boost: And finally, for the days I am feeling a little down or overwhelmed I turn to my yoga mat, my glass of water, feed my body nourishing food and support my mind with NEURAPAS Balance by Pascoe (a natural remedy to help promote a healthy, balanced, mood) to help me take a deeper breath, feel my shoulders drop and smile the Winter Blues away.
To book a private consult or purchase holistically life enhancing products visit jennpike.com.