The holidays can be a busy time full of activities and intense emotions. For some it’s a time of joy, for others it may bring on grief or anxiety. Whether your holidays were blissful or dismal or just hectic, you may find yourself in a bit of a slump as the decorations go back in their boxes and you settle back into your normal routine.
It’s not uncommon for people to crash after a busy and intense period. Adrenaline and cortisol levels can run high during these times and what goes up must eventually come down. This is part of the reason many people deal with a slump during the winter. I know from experience how the combination of shorter, gloomier days and colder weather, along with the post holiday crash can result in a serious case of the Winter Blues.
I’ve collected some simple yet powerful tools over the years and I’m excited to share them with you, so winter never has to get you down again! Here are some tips to help you face winters with confidence:
- Go to bed early and get up early. This way I get the maximum amount of sunshine when the days are short.
- Keep a consistent sleep pattern: As soon as I wake up, I turn on bright, full spectrum lights. Then I surround myself with bright lighting throughout the day. I keep the shades open and sit close to windows. Just as importantly, I dim the lights in the evening. I use cool blue or full spectrum lighting the first half of the day and warm lighting the second half of the day. The proper lighting throughout the day really helps to maintain a stable sleep/wake pattern.
- Exercise in the morning, outdoors if possible. Morning exercise boosts my mood and energy levels throughout the day and helps me to sleep better at night. Exercising too late in the day can make it difficult to fall asleep.
- Get outside as much as possible. Sunshine and fresh air is the best medicine for the winter blues. Even if it’s cold or cloudy, try to get outside. It helps brighten my mood.
- Try a light therapy lamp. Look for one that emits 10,000 lux of wide spectrum light and is UV free.
- If I nap, I nap early and keep it short so my sleep pattern is not disrupted.
- Stay warm. Hot coffee or cider, warm stews and soups, cozy soft sweaters and furry boots and slippers…these are a few of my favorite things about winter! And nothing beats a sauna or a hot bath to break a winter chill.
- Supplements that help me.
Vitamin D - Since we get less sun in the winter our bodies produce less vitamin D. Supplementing with a D vitamin makes sense. I feel like it gives me slightly more energy and I get sick less when I take plenty of D.
Fish oil may also be beneficial for improving mood and overall wellbeing.
Melatonin - taking melatonin an hour or two before bed helps regulate sleep patterns.*
Mirica Mood Lift - contains ingredients that promote a positive mood.*
- Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) - A naturally occurring lipid that promotes healthy nervous system function.*
- Tyrosine - An amino acid that is a precursor for mood regulating neurotransmitters.*
- Rhodiola Rosea - An herb that’s been widely used for centuries to promote mental and physical endurance.*
- Vitamin D
Use these tools to get through this winter with more energy and confidence. And keep in mind, it's only a season…. spring will be here soon!
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.