Colder Temps and Shorter Days Getting You Down?

Peering into the Woods

When the temperature drops and the days get shorter your mood can change. I cannot tell you how many times in the last weeks I have heard "The nights are so long.", "It gets dark so early, I just want to go to bed.", and "It's only five o'clock?". The inclination is to get under a blanket and hibernate. The great news is that there are steps you can take to stay upbeat, motivated, and healthy despite the lack of warmth and daylight. Here are some tips:

Spend time outdoors: You can't be outdoors and have cabin fever at the same time. Fresh air and light are invigorating and energizing, even on a not so bright day. And your body learns to step up to the demands of being chilly, so no excuses. Eat seasonally: This is the most natural way to eat and keeps us in balance (content, healthy, strong). Nutrient content and taste are at their peak when vegetables and fruits are fresh. Kale, brocholli, brussel sprouts, squash, sweet potatos, and citrus fruits are a few examples of what is currently in season. Increase Vitamin D: Our immune system needs this to fight off bacteria and viruses and it increases the absorption of calcium. It will also help you to stay focused and happy. Your body will thank you! Exercise: This can seem counterintuitive at 5:30 when it is dark, cold, and your warm house is beckoning you. Step up exercise, preferable outdoors, but the gym works too. Exercise improves self esteem, increases energy. Aerobic activity prompts the body to produce endorphins. It's hard to feel down and out after a good workout. You will sleep better too. Drink more water: When it's chilly its easy to forget to stay well hydrated. This keeps digestion on track, staves off hunger, and keeps skin moist during the dry winter months. Herbal tea is another option. Appreciate the small things: A fire in the fireplace, getting to wear your favorite scarves... Give into it: Lastly, if you feel like hunkering down with a bowl of soup and a movie is what you truly need, do it. Continually pushing away what is leads to discontent. Doing what feels right for you is always invigorating and energizing!

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