I think it’s safe to say that we’ve all heard of (and many have experienced) the “winter blues.” Seasonal Affective Disorder, the slow-brewing storm of improper sleep, lack of motivation, increased anxiety, and the feeling that our happiness switch has been dimmed, is the result of fewer daylight hours—affecting our circadian rhythm and serotonin output, all typically during the busiest time of the year. Here we are, showing up to work and family events, conjuring up all of the energy we have to make hors’ d'oeuvres for the holiday potluck while checking off our shopping lists, keeping up our day-to-day chores, making travel plans, working overtime, etc….all while we try our best to hide our fatigue and lackluster zest for life. Seasonal Affective Disorder is only reported to affect about 10% of the population, but the reality is that the changing of the season, cold dreary weather, and increased daily demands put a lot of us in “overdrive” mode—much more of us than the 10% reported.
At Raja Wellness, we understand the importance of self-care during this season, and we are here to help you through it. Here are a few things we have to offer that can help to significantly improve the “winter blues” along with some proactive things you can do at home:
#1: Move Your Body
Yes, as you’ve heard time and time again, one of the best ways to improve your mood is to get moving! Outside exercise during the day is optimal since you can get some sunshine in as well, but indoor exercise will also help improve feelings of gloom. You don’t have to have a gym membership, or even a whole lot of extra time each day. Setting aside 10-15 minutes for a quick and easy routine can work wonders when done consistently.
There are so many ways to incorporate more movement into your daily life without it taking time away from the rest of your responsibilities. You may choose to follow along to a YouTube video based on your current fitness level, spend a little extra time outdoors walking a local trail or playing a sport, park further away than usual at the grocery store, or even break out in a song and dance while folding laundry. When able to make the extra time, in-person classes not only offer socialization, but extra support and individual attention as well.
We’re also excited to announce that our newest member of the Raja Wellness team, Nikki Prell, is now offering yoga classes at our Magnolia location! These classes focus on breath, mindfulness, and gentle movement.
To view schedule and join us, BOOK HERE
Or, for at-home gentle exercise, check out qigong18.com
#2: Soak Up Some Rays!
The sun DOES still come out in the winter! It may not be bathing suit weather, but a little sunlight goes a long way to helping to offset the winter blues, even when we’re bundled up and trying to stay warm. When you’re indoors, consider opening the blinds for natural lighting. Natural sunlight helps to regulate our sleep-wake cycles, which are thrown off when the shorter winter days roll in.
When we spend more time indoors and out of the cold, our daily dose of vitamin D is decreased. Actual direct sunshine is the best way to supply Vitamin D— the “sunshine vitamin”, which is produced naturally in the body when the skin is exposed to UV light. It plays a critical role in our overall health, and helps the body to function at its best.
#3: Eat Healthy Foods that Nourish the Body! (and keep track of it!)
A good idea in general, if we’re being honest. Eating healthfully and mindfully has so many important health benefits—and improving your mood is one of them! Have you ever tracked your eating habits by keeping a food journal (or using a food-tracking app)? This is an excellent way to not only give yourself a visual of what you’re taking in and where you can make adjustments, but also to help identify and eliminate the things that make you feel sluggish, bloated, possibly even a little cranky. When tracking your food intake, be sure to make a note of how you feel after each meal or snack.
Incorporating foods rich in Vitamin D can be helpful in fighting off the winter blues. Some of these foods include:
#4 Do you REALLY know how your body reacts to certain foods? Are you aware of what nutrients your body is deficient in? Do you know what your body needs so that you feel your best? The truth is, that there is no one perfect cookie cutter diet for everyone. We all have our individual needs, sensitivities, and beliefs—While mindfulness and tracking your intake can be helpful, if you need a more personalized approach in your journey to feeling better (and improving your mood!) through diet, check out our trusted partner, Sakina Bunch. Sakina is a Holistic Coach and Wellness advocate, and can help get you back on track through personalized nutrition coaching, cooking classes, and more!
#5 Find out how holistic therapies can help you navigate the winter blues!
Acupuncture, herbal medicine, Frequency Specific Microcurrent, reiki, and even aromatherapy can help significantly reduce feelings of stress, depression, and anxiety. By bringing the body back into balance and releasing feel-good endorphins, your mood will be lifted as will your sense of well-being. To find out more about these therapies and how they can help you, book a free 15 minute consultation with us here!
Small, consistent changes can help to boost your mood and support your overall health. Consider putting these suggestions into action and see what improvements follow!