Have you ever experienced Seasonal Affective Disorder? Feeling a little more anxious, less motivated, and even a little depressed? The dramatic switching of the seasons can be quite the shock to our fun-loving summer body. The great news is, there are some powerful techniques you can use to keep feeling your best all winter long!
Our bodies require different treatment from season to season. If we do the same things all year long- we get run down and problems begin to occur. Winter is a time for restoration. Time to recharge our battery and go within for deep thinking about the direction our life is going and the steps to take to get to where we want to go.
I just had a baby 1 month ago and going from being outside in the sunshine walking for an hour each day to being stuck in the house with a newborn almost 24/7 can bring up some feelings and changes that are not pleasant, but I always have ways to make sure I stay mentally strong all season long!
Five Powerful Ways to Beat Seasonal Affective Disorder
1 . Food
Nothing impacts the way you feel more than the food you eat. The food you eat provides the building blocks to create neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine (feel good chemicals). If you are not eating the right food, your body is not going to make the neurotransmitters it needs to keep you feeling great because it does not have the building blocks to do so. The food you are eating will either give you energy, or drag you down.
Fat– It is important to focus on eating plenty of healthy fats. Fat is the building block of your hormones. To be hormonally balanced (which means happy moods, healthy digestion, plenty of energy, clear skin, healthy libido etc.) you must include healthy fats at each meal.
Have one of the following at each meal: Avocado, coconut (meat, oil, milk, cream), olives, olive oil, butter.
Protein–Protein is the building blocks for your neurotransmitters. You must eat digestible protein in order to make the brain chemicals you need to feel great. Make sure to have a source of protein at each meal.
Fish– Winter is a great time to amp up your fish consumption. Particularly wild caught salmon and sardines. These are filled with plenty of Essential fatty acids EPA, DHA, and Omega 3s that support mood, hormones, and neurotransmitters. My favorite fish oil here.
Immune Support and Gut Health: Did you know that 80% of your immune system is located in your gut? Or that more serotonin is made in your gut than in your brain?
You also must have the correct balance of probiotics in your system to protect you from bacteria and viruses and detoxify anything harmful that may come in. Make sure to get in some sort of probiotic each day in the form of food or supplements.
3. Vitamin D
Vitamin D Sulfate possesses unique health-promoting properties including strengthening the immune system, balancing hormones, and even killing diseased cells in your body.
Scientists have found about 3,000 genes that are regulated by vitamin D. This means that without enough vitamin D, your cells cannot function properly. As a result, their functions are impaired and all sorts of problems begin to take place.
This is why it is so important to get out in the sun, and supplement in times where you can’t. . . your body cannot function properly without it this valuable nutrient.
Movement: Exercise also generates neurotransmitters and endorphins that make you feel amazing. Studies have shown exercise is as effective as an antidepressant. Movement can be harder in the winter, but just doing small body weight home works outs, dancing, rebounding, and walking will do wonders for your mind.
Learn How to get fit in 1/hour a week with HIIT <—here.
Sleep: Your body biologically needs more sleep in the winter. Most people avoid this, which is a major cause of the winter blues. Do whatever you can to get a few extra zzz’s in this season.
Powerful Sleep Tips <—-here
Daily Inspiration: No matter what we do for our body, nothing has a bigger impact over how we feel than our mind. Without INTENTIONALLY choosing our thoughts and focus each day- we tend to gravitate towards the negative, little issues throughout the day, and what you do not like.
It is crucial to refocus your mind DAILY so you do not let your emotions rule your life. Listen or read something DAILY that inspires you and challenges growth and truth.
Caroline Leaf does a fantastic job explaining the science behind the mind and how to rewire it
(<——hubby skiing in Whistler, Canada!)
Morning and Night Gratitude: Again, what we focus on- we get more of. Every morning, think of 3 things you are grateful for. Each night- think about what went well that day and what you love. When problems come throughout the day- refocus on what you are grateful for.