Taking Care of Winter Glum

We’ve been back for less than a month, and while I’m still in awe of all the beauty that Washington has to offer, I have to admit, I’m feeling the affects of gray skies.  I feel like I’ve been dragging.  The mornings have been slow and lethargic, the days lacking in clarity, and the evenings lazy.

So, the last couple of days I’ve been thinking about the things that help me to get my mojo back.  Here are a few activities that help me to stay present, relax, and feel less glum during the winter:

  • go to bed early:  I’m less productive in the evenings.  If I go to bed early, getting up early the next day is so much easier and my day always seems to flow better when I’m up early and well rested. Also, my body craves more sleep during the winter.  Instead of beating myself up for being tired, its okay to let my body sleep a bit more and just flow with the seasons.
  • drink green tea:  green tea is loaded with anti-oxidants and the caffeine in green tea is great for clarity of mind and creativity.  Unlike coffee (which I seem to have slipped back into the habit of drinking), green tea is not as harsh on the adrenal glands and won’t give you the jitters.
  • Take a hot bath: We didn’t have a tub in South Africa or South Korea and I truly missed this luxury.  Bath salts are amazing or sometimes I just toss some fresh rosemary in.  For an extra boost, bring in a cup of herbal tea or a glass of your favorite wine and small snack (I love a small bowl of granola, a handful of dark chocolate chips, or apple slices is almond or sunbutter).
  • Eat More Smart Carbs:  Eating healthy carbs (whole grains, starchy veggies, fruit, veggies) will increase tryptophan levels.  As tryptophan levels increase the amount of serotonin synthesized in the brain also increases.  Nothing like a good hit of serotonin to fight off the winter blues!
  • Take Vitamin D:  I’m not a huge supplements taker but as a Northwestern gal who struggles with the blues during the winter, I’m all about the liquid vitamin d.  I take it year round but I double my dosage during the winter.
  • Move my body:  Some mornings, the last thing I want to do is get out of bed, strip down and get my running clothes on so I can go out in the cold.  I never regret it afterwards though!  A run just not going to happen?  Choose an indoor activity like yoga or stationary cycling.

Take care of yourself this winter!

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