Preventing the Winter Blues

Do you find yourself feeling less motivated as the days become shorter and the skies darken? If so, you’re experiencing the very healthy transition of a Built-in Intelligence System (BIS) gently nudging you into the human version of hibernation mode.

Three Easy Ways to Honor Your BIS

1. Get More Sleep
Circadian rhythms are meant to help bring your cortisol and melatonin hormone levels into balance. Seasonal variation can have an impact on your sleep/wake cycle. Serotonin (the happiness neurotransmitter) levels may be decreased by lower levels of light in the fall and winter. Decreased levels of serotonin have been associated with depressed mood. In addition, changes in light levels may also disrupt melatonin levels, which are affected by light. Getting extra sleep can help remedy imbalanced cortisol and melatonin.

2. Eat Warming Foods
It may sound simple, but adding more “warming foods” into your diet actually keeps you warmer! The body is already working a little harder to stay warm in the winter, so why not give it a little boost through diet? Warming foods include things like ginger, lamb, cooked root vegetables, stews and soups. Up the spice! Add more cinnamon, nutmeg, and curries to your meals. Start the day off with a hot breakfast like scrambled eggs with a vegetable like spinach or chard.

3. Fresh Air & Exercise
Take it outside! Try to take a walk in the fresh air each day: Just 30 minutes of daily exercise helps keep the Qi flowing through the body, preventing a multitude of illnesses and decreasing general pain. Being outside not only offers a break from the often mundane routines of being indoors, it also provides a healthy dose of Vitamin D (we get most from the UV light of the sun), and brings expansiveness and breath into your days.