It’s that time of year again, turning colder, darker in the evenings, more coughs and colds doing the rounds. Overall it is not the most inspiring time to jump out of bed, head to the gym and bounce into work.
The temptation at this time of year is to eat more (lots of sweet things yeah) give the exercise class a miss (who can be bothered in this weather anyway) and give into stress related crutches – another glass won’t hurt on this cold wintry night will it?
Well first of all, you aren’t alone. As we tip over into the winter months and start to leave the glorious autumn behind it is common to feel run down and have less energy. It is almost as if our bodies are preparing for hibernation mode!
And my answer is it’s ok to give in to hibernation mode. Yes it is! I believe in respecting the body and reserving our energies when we are run down. But there are better ways to do it than to give in to eating excess sugary foods, alcohol and limiting exercise. Here are a few suggestions that may help:
- Think about increasing your Vitamin C intake. This vit is really important in the winter – helping to boost your immunity in the face of bugs, coughs and colds. Eating lots of veg and fruit will help do the trick.
- So you love chocolate, so what? So do I! But if you are finding that 3 o clock slump at work an excuse to consistently do the chocolate run – maybe it’s time to reassess. Switch your sweet break from choc to a banana. Still sweet but so much better for you! Or try some dark choc – higher in antioxidants and you may find you need less to curb that craving.
- Try committing to a couple of exercise sessions a week and wake up those endorphins! (feel good hormones) Be realistic about a class time that works for you or maybe agree a time that you will jog/gym it with a pal. It’s ideal to exercise with a chum – good for motivating each other if you ever feel like throwing the towel in.
- Get enough sleep. You know the kind where you wake up and feel rested. However many hours makes you feel like that, get into the routine of having that many hours. Every night.
- Use a sun light lamp as an alarm clock or ask for one at work. This provides you with a welcome dose of natural light of a morning or when you are sitting at your desk. A great antidote to the darkness of winter.
- Connect! Yes that’s right – I am actively encouraging you to get out there and keep in touch with your inner circle of trust or even make new friends. It is too easy to give in to the sofa on the dark nights leaving you feeling disconnected from the people that make you happy. (I love Netflix too, but it’s not the real world is it?)
- Make an appointment with yourself…for some quiet time. If life is still proving very busy and feelings of overwhelm are happening – you need to slow it down. Block off a slot (just start with 15 mins a day) where you do NOTHING. Just sit quietly. Honestly, it’s a revelation.
- Book a treatment! This is exactly the time of year we need to be giving ourselves TLC. Facials, massages, whatever floats your holistic boat are perfect for boosting circulation, the lymphatic system, releasing tension and helping to relax stiff and aching muscles. Not to mention giving a valuable mental break.
For those of you already doing this stuff, well done, keep up the good work. For the rest of us – once we have had a fruitful Winter of embracing hibernation, we will emerge like butterflies (or maybe grizzly bears!) – ready for the spring sunshine.