7 Tips to Ease the Winter Blues
Summer is Over
Summer is over and winter has arrived. Daylight is in short supply. Some of us have serious mood changes when there’s less sunlight. Feelings of hopelessness and depression may set in. Fortunately, there's a ray of sunlight in the midst of a dark winter day. Follow these 7 tips to ease the winter blues, before you know it, spring will be here again.
1. Start Your Day with an Attitude of Gratitude
Being thankful for what you have and who you are sets the energy in motion for a positive day. Write down positive affirmations and put them wherever you will see them throughout your day. This will remind you to be thankful.
Happiness is but a thought away.
And it is all in the mind. No matter the situation, how you react will determine the outcome. Be thankful.
You’ll be amazed to discover the blessings that will come to you when you say, “Thank You.”
2. Eat Smarter
Lack of nutrients contributes to depression, your overall energy level, and your wellness.
Whole Foods and pure water not only keep you physically fit but protect you mentally as well. Studies show consuming foods high in omega-3 fatty acids influence your mood and decrease your likelihood of experiencing mild to moderate symptoms of depression. So load up on a handful of almonds and 3-5 T. of flaxseeds every day. They’re perfect in a breakfast smoothie. Eat berries. Research shows shows antioxidants in blueberries benefit the nervous system and improve memory. They may also help prevent the release of the stress hormone, cortisol.
Get Your Minerals
Himalayan pink salt contains 84 essential trace minerals your body needs. It also helps the brain produce serotonin and melatonin. Drink ¼ t. in 4 oz. of warm water before going to sleep each night. This heart healthy salt stimulates digestion which aids in weight loss and in winter that’s a good thing!
Supplementing with a complete liquid mineral supplement can provide the nutrients you need in addition to supporting gut, brain and skin health.
Supplement with Vitamin K2+D3
Vitamin D3 improves mood and has shown to help with seasonal depression. Less sunlight means less vitamin D3 which can result in feelings of depression and a lack of energy.
You may have heard that D3 shouldn’t be taken alone.
While Vitamin D ensures that calcium is absorbed, Vitamin K2 directs it to areas of your body such as your bones, so it can be put to good use. Without K2, the calcium absorbed may be deposited in the arteries, where it can lead to calcification or other issues.
(specifically D3, the form of Vit D you get from the sun)
is essential for properly absorbing the calcium we all know is so important as we age. Without D3, you may be missing out on benefits from the calcium in your diet. Most people start taking Vitamin D3 after they experience signs of deficiency.
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Reduce or Eliminate Sugar
According to the eminent Robert Lustig M.D., author and sugar expert, “The negative effects sugar has on our bodies are staggering; sugar alters our hormones so we don’t register hunger the way we normally would, making us eat more; it spikes our dopamine, requiring us to eat more sugar for the same effect; and it affects our liver in the same way alcohol does.”
Avoid processed foods. Commercial foods are generally loaded with several kinds of sugars disguised behind names such as dextrose, sucralose, among 60+ others.
There are wonderful sugar alternatives that don’t compromise your health. Avoid artificial sweeteners like the plague!
Liquid organic stevia is our favorite in tea, hot cereals and anywhere you want a natural sweet flavor. And since it’s an herb, it contains many plant nutrients nature-designed to support your good health, including anti-cancer effects, cholesterol support, weight loss, and it’s safe for diabetics.
Now Foods organic liquid stevia is delicious and an excellent substitute for health-robbing sugar.
Now Better Stevia Organic Sweetener, powdwer
Xylitol has a wonderful flavor. 40% fewer calories than table sugar and a great choice for diabetics and weight-conscious individuals. Dental professionals recommend it for its incredible ability to kill harmful bacteria in the mouth. Eden’s DIY toothpaste with xylitol to help reduce your risk of tooth decay; an excellent alternative to expensive and toxic commercial toothpaste.
Sugar is the new ‘alcohol.’
Its effects on the liver are similar to liver disease
caused by alcohol consumption.
3. Reduce Caffeine
Stressful situations such as cold weather and confinement to the indoors can promote cortisol, a stress hormone that can exhaust the body and aggravate depression symptoms. Our research found that caffeine increases cortisol secretion, the stress hormone in people whether at rest or undergoing mental stress.
Chronically elevated levels of perceived stress affect cortisol levels. Prolonged cortisol release has been associated with increased risk for central obesity. Studies have demonstrated that acute stress affects dietary behaviors, also. For some it's a craving, for others, it's a loss of appetite.
Being driven by the hormones of stress causes the adrenal glands to burn out. Without healthy adrenal function, you’re at risk of fatigue among a host of other health problems.
Dehydration and premature wrinkling is well documented and medical studies reveal excess caffeine poses a risk of cardiovascular disease, pancreatic and bladder cancer.
4. Light therapy
When day light hours shorten, it can feel like we’re living “in the dark.” You can easily supplement your daylight hours with healthy, artificial light that simulates the benefits of sun.
Light therapy stimulates the eye’s photoreceptors which help set the body’s daily cycles improving mood and energy. It also stimulates hormones and neurotransmitters that greatly influence our overall feelings of well-being. In addition, bright light exposure early in the day stimulates our body’s production of serotonin- which improves mood and happiness- and regulates melatonin to promote a restful sleep in the evening.
Adding a full spectrum light box to your daily routine allows your body to produce important hormones naturally, and keep your body running like clockwork.
Indoor Tanning Fulfills Your Light Needs.
Despite the fact that most of us have been ‘taught” to believe tanning beds are dangerous and cause cancer, our research discovered tanning to be a safe and effective way to fulfill your body’s vitamin D requirements, give you a sense of warmth and ease the winter blues.
For those of us in sun-deprived northern latitudes, tanning beds are a Godsend. Always tan responsibly, and follow healthy tanning guidelines.
UVB lamps are designed to boost your vitamin D, while UVA lamps (not the healthier alternative) darken your skin.
Therefore, one is cosmetic while the other is nutritional.
Adequate vitamin D production can have many health benefits including improved cardiovascular health, prevention of autoimmune diseases, like MS and inflammatory bowel disease. Vitamin D helps you fight infections, including influenza.
Receiving the sun’s vital rays is crucial to good “winter health.”
5. Move Your Body
Exercise stimulates feel good hormones in the brain. If you aren’t already exercising find a friend and start walking. Love music? Dance! Explore DVDs that will inspire you to keep moving! Begin a yoga practice.
Spend time in nature. There are so many ways to exercise, you’re sure to find one that’s perfect for you.
Its benefits are well documented. If you live near the ocean take advantage of its emotional and physical health benefits.
6. Treat Yourself
Treat yourself to an outing. A mini-trip or a day spa. Anything healthy! Massages have been shown to lower depression by over 50 percent, reducing stress hormones and increasing feel good hormones that have a healing effect on the body. Use aromatherapy. National Institutes of Health studies show positive effects among those with depressive symptoms.
These are great resources for the beginner or seasoned herbalist:
Rosemary Gladstar's Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health: 175 Teas, Tonics, Oils, Salves, Tinctures, and Other Natural Remedies for the Entire Family also A Beginner's Guide: 33 Healing Herbs to Know, Grow, and Use.
Being a hermit can make you more vulnerable to mental health problems, and illness. People are social by nature and without friends we’re downright lonely. Social isolation is not natural or healthy. Start a new project that involves others. Volunteer at a child’s school, food bank, visit a nursing home, or get together with friends once a week for lunch and games or attend a community education class. Learn to meditate.
Don’t let winter get you down, follow these 7 tips to ease the winter blues.
Your happiness is just a thought away!
The information contained herein is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment in any manner. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition.
Always consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program.
by US National Library of Medicine
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