It’s officially the middle of winter, and it can be a real difficult time for lots of people. The holiday season is over, with all the parties, good food, and fun things to do, and January ends up being the month where some of us fall into a gloomy rut due to the cold weather, reduction of daylight, and the post-holiday spending reality check (bills). This current “Polar Vortex” isn’t doing anything to make things better, either! Not to fear, we’ve come up with five good ways to get through the worst of winter as painlessly as possible!
1. Eat and Dress For Winter
The internet is a great resource for endless recipes for each season throughout the year, and It’s also a good idea to have a cookbook that provides seasonal recipes as well. Winter is typically all about soups, stews, casseroles, and other warming foods. You can spice things up with ingredients like pepper, ginger, and chillies in your cooking. These types of meals are very nutritious and better digested in the winter months.
Wearing the right gear for the weather also makes a huge difference. Nobody likes to be cold. Even if you say you’re one of those people who prefers the cold weather, you know you don’t actually enjoy being uncomfortably cold. So dress warmly in the winter with your toasty and warm winter jacket, toque, gloves, boots, and long underwear. The right clothing allows us to stay comfortable and enjoy that nip in the air!
2. Ultraviolet Light Exposure
January is definitely not the most pleasant month; it’s dark and it’s cold. No matter where you live, the position of the sun’s trajectory through the sky means less UV light exposure. Still, you would do well to remember how important it is to get this type of light exposure. UV light helps circulating cholesterol in our skin convert into vitamin D. Vitamin D and has been shown to help elevate mood, boost the immune system, and play a preventative role in many cancers.
UV light exposure also helps regulate our circadian rhythms, including our sleep-wake cycles. UV light is the brain’s major signal to produce melatonin appropriately. Make sure to get even 20 minutes daily of UV light exposure, even on cloudy days, to help normalize your hormone production and improve your sleep.
There’s no better way to increase your circulation and body heat than getting up and moving. Too bad there isn’t a “magic pill” that duplicates the benefit of exercise; otherwise somebody would be heaping rich and the rest of us wouldn’t have a single movie languishing in our Netflix queues. Exercise improves sleep, elevates mood, improves body composition, and prevents heart disease. Exercising just a few times a week, whether it’s indoor or outdoor, can make the dark winter months much more pleasant. Why not join a gym, badminton club, tennis club, martial arts studio, or play a group sport?
4. Fun Winter Activities
It is crucial to pursue a set of winter activities that you find enjoyable. It just makes winter more fun and go by more quickly. If you spend your winter visualizing a Caribbean cruise and the approaching warmer months you are setting yourself up for some seasonal gloom. By getting into winter activities like downhill or cross country skiing, snow shoeing, hiking valley trails, skating on the ponds, or even ice fishing, this time of year just might become one of your favorite.
5. Keeping it Fresh
What, you didn’t think we were going to recommend all this without pointing out the importance of getting the proper balance of vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids during the winter? The best, most natural way of doing this, of course, is by filling your fridge with all the fresh fruits and vegetables that you can. January may not be the best time to source local produce for many of us, but there are still plenty of organic options available down at your local supermarket. Make your winter food purchases last as long and as fresh as they can with a BerryBreeze™ in your fridge or pantry. Make sure to get plenty of seeds, nuts, and leafy vegetables in you as you make your way to better weather and feeling better in the coming months.
What about you, what’s your plan for getting through the January doldrums? Tell us about it in a comment below.