Get Vit D: Go for a walk, keep the curtains or blinds open. Get moving: Physical exercise stimulates serotonin (the happy hormone). Get proper sleep: Conscious breathing or meditation can help. Have a balanced diet: Eat seasonal foods such as squash, pomegranate. Drink Green Juice: Add bee pollen or maca to your morning juice, to increase your dose of vitality.
Winter is upon us
The change to days that are darker, shorter, colder and the lack of vitamin D (no sun!), can certainly affect our mood.
We go into our hibernating mode; we don’t feel so much like going out, like doing sport. We feel like doing nothing, just staying on the sofa and binging on “foods” that do not fit the EAT CLEAN philosophy (high in refined flours and sugars). This mood change is real, and it has a name – Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. It is a kind of depression that millions of people suffer from without even knowing. Curiously, women are more susceptible.
5 Tips To Manage Season Change
So if you have recently noticed a change in your emotional state, here is some advice:
1. Ensure you get your dose of vitamin D
Don’t stay at home. Get out and make sure your skin gets however much or little sunshine there is, in order to absorb our treasured vitamin D. If possible, go for a walk for 10 minutes while the sun is out, move your desk towards the window and open the curtains or blinds – all the way!
A vitamin D deficit is linked to depression. If you are not already, now is a good time to start taking a vitamin D supplement. The recommended daily dose is 1000-2000 UI. Our main source of vitamin D is exposure to the sun, although some foods such as fish and mushrooms can give us small amounts, so try to include these in your diet.
2. Get moving!
Practicing sport always improves our mood, our defenses and motivates us to take care of ourselves. It is scientifically proven that physical exercise stimulates the secretion of serotonin, also known as “the happy hormone”. Therefore the best exercise we can do is anything that can be practiced outdoors, such as walking, hiking, climbing and cycling. If it’s too cold, sign up to a gym or practice active yoga such as Ashtanga or Vinyasa – these can really help.
Doing sport will help to reduce stress and relieve anxiety, symptoms that usually accompany depressive states. So no more excuses, start doing 30 minutes of exercise every day and start today!
3. Treat your body to some proper sleep
It is very important to respect the body’s hours of sleep. Ideally the body needs 7-8 hours of sleep, but now that the nights are longer, I like to treat myself to an extra hour of sleep. How do I do it? I go to bed earlier, I finish whatever I’ve got going on a bit earlier and have a light dinner, for faster digestion. Try making this change and you will see the difference when you wake up more refreshed and with bags more energy.
Before you go to bed, make sure your covers are warm enough and turn off all electronic devices, so that your home is free from waves. If you find it hard to get to sleep, try a passion flower or valerian infusion or practicing conscious breathing or a short meditation.
4. EAT CLEAN and eat a balanced diet
We are what we eat, so nourish your body with fresh foods which are full of micronutrients that help to strengthen the immune system, increase defenses and help us to feel full of vitality. Improve your diet and your mood will follow. Fill your dishes with nutritional and seasonal foods such as squash, green leaves, pomegranate, cabbage and apples.
5. And never, ever, ever forget … your GREEN JUICE!
It is loaded with vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, antioxidants and enzymes, and it will keep you at your best for the whole day. Add superfoods such as bee pollen or maca to your morning juice, to increase your dose of vitality.
And who said they are only for the morning? Why not try making a small juice in the afternoon to give you that extra push to get through the day?
What about you? Have you ever experienced these seasonal mood changes? I would love to hear your experiences and recommendations.