My primary focus during winter is surviving the cold. So it’s not uncommon for me to spend some of my spare time in my trackie pants and Ugg boots, drinking copious cups of tea while sitting on the lounge snuggling with my cat watching replays of Midsummer Murders and Doctor Who.
Winter survival shouldn’t just be all about bringing on BBC shows, here are some pointers to help beat the winter chill!
Move your body
This has nothing to do with weight-loss and everything to do with feeling pumped up and warmed up! We all need to really value physical activity and be really consistent with it to gain all the benefits that it brings. Physical activity is a potent and underutilised antidepressant... and it’s free! Physical activity doesn’t have to mean “go to the gym for an hour”, you could go for a bike ride with a friend, take the dog for a brisk walk around the block or jump on any equipment you might have at home.
When it’s freezing and dark, I really yearn to cuddle up inside and indulge in some ‘comfort food’ such as hot chocolate or freshly baked brownies... and I bet I’m not the only one! Unfortunately these types of foods can also make you feel super lethargic. While you don’t necessarily want to avoid carbohydrates all together, grains like brown rice and wheat germ are packed with goodness, getting full on fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts and proteins that trigger a release of serotonin will keep you feeling great and happy!
Mix up your environment
I don’t mean to force yourself in go outside even if it’s freezing, but actually sometimes people really do just need a change of scenery.
This could be achieved by ducking out to a local cafe to grab a warm tea during your break, or going to a friend’s house for a catch up and a laugh.
Load up on vitamin D whenever you can
Vitamin D is considered the ‘sunshine vitamin’, as we need sunshine to hit our skins in order for us to process and utilise this vitamin. So, not surprisingly, that come winter we’re kind of lacking in this vitamin. A couple of tips for boosting your vitamin D level include:
If you have time in your lunch break to step outside – do!
At home open your blinds and curtains whenever possible to allow as much light in as you can
10 minutes of midday sun exposure can give you the dose of vitamin D you need
Taking a vitamin D supplement can also help a lot – contact the clinic and we can see if there’s a vitamin D supplement that would be suitable for you
Keep track of your sleeping pattern
Just as exercise and nutrition is necessary for optimal health and happiness so too is sleep. The quality of your sleep directly affects the quality of your waking life, including your mental sharpness, productivity, emotional balance, creativity, physical vitality, and even your weight. No other activity delivers so many benefits with so little effort!
Try to get in the right amount of sleep for your body: not too much, not too little. There is a big difference between the amount of sleep you can get by on and the amount you need to function optimally. Just because you're able to operate on six hours of sleep doesn't mean you wouldn't feel a lot better and get more done if you spent an extra hour or two in bed. While sleep requirements vary slightly from person to person, most healthy adults need between seven and a half to nine hours of sleep per night to function at their best. Keeping your sleep schedule consistent can also eliminate a lot of changes in your energy level from day – to – day.
Hopefully these tips will help you survive the rest of winter – if you feel that you might need a helping hand give us a call at the clinic on (02) 6021 0557 and we’ll be happy to give you a hand in achieving optimal health during the chilly months