Have you ever wondered why you don’t want to get out of bed on winter mornings? Or why you need an afternoon cup of coffee or tea or get tired early in the evenings? The days are shorter and the temperature is lower in many parts of the world. Bears hibernate and sometimes you wish you could, too! A combination of exercise, light therapy and diet can help you increase your energy and face those winter days with a smile. I use a full spectrum light and it makes a big difference in my energy and mood. According to a study at Cornell University, seasonal affective disorder affects four times as many women as men. Who knew?
An article in NuJournal.com tells us that eating fish can actually help with the winter blahs. Keep a stash of healthy foods, including nuts and frozen fruit, which can be thawed and enjoyed anytime. By avoiding the typical winter carb-loading, you will keep off the extra pounds that pile up by springtime.
For those of you who have trouble changing your routines or sticking with any routine, here are some coaching tips to get you through the winter:
- Rise and shine at the same time every day. Set two alarms to help you get up.
- Go to sleep at the same time every day. Set an alarm for one hour before bedtime to wind down and be ready for lights out on time.
- Turn on bright lights in the morning and whenever possible, let the sunshine in. I enjoy a cup of coffee in front of the window with the sun shining on my face.
- If you feel the need for full-spectrum light, buy a light box. I use a full spectrum floor lamp in my office. Great for me and for my clients. Light Therapy Products or Full Spectrum Solutions are two suggested sites.
- Set up an exercise time each day or on alternate days. At the very least do some stretching and floor exercises at home. Workout with a partner and hold yourself accountable to your coach or to a friend.
- Drink lots of water. Yeah, you know this already. But think about wintertime – do you drink more coffee, cocoa and tea? That does not “count” as water. Keep your intake up for healthy a healthy mind and body.
- Read a good book.
- Block out daily quiet time. Meditate, breathe, and stretch, clear your mind of the thoughts of the day.
Wishing you a wonderful 2012 and a winter that is “blah free”.