8 Natural ways to beat the winter blues

THE SUN MAY BE OUT BUT IT’S COLD. WINTER IS COMING. WHAT DO WE DO?

You’re not crazy. You’re SAD. Well, technically you’re not “SAD”, you might have S.A.D. I do. Well, I think I do. That, or I'm severely allergic to winter. Is that a real thing? S.A.D. is a real thing. A science thing. And according to science, S.A.D. or, Seasonal Affective Disorder, affects nearly 10 million Americans (we’re two of them). Except this year. Because this year, we’re making a concentrated effort to beat the winter blues.

Pic via Pinterest

Pic via Pinterest

8 Ways to beat the winter blues:

1. Dress warmer!

While this seems incredibly obvious, winterizing your wardrobe is key. This year, think layers and if needed, invest in cold weather essentials (ie. gloves and / or mittens, ski socks (seriously), over-the-ankle waterproof boots, a hat and / or “touque” if you’re fancy, and a warm WARM jacket).

2. Practice proactive self-care

Which means, you’ll most likely have to adjust your current PSC routine. During the colder months as the days get shorter and the nights get longer it’s totally natural to need more sleep. Be OK with that. Don't feel guilty about going to bed earlier, sleeping a little longer or taking a 20-minute power nap.

3. Up your intake of cooked foods

While we love cold foods (raw salads, super-smoothies, and ice cream, obviously), for some, they just don’t work as well in the winter. If that’s the case, in addition to eating a healthful diet (food severely affects your mood), up your intake of cooked cuisine. Add in more soups, stir-frys, and roasted root veggie macro bowls using healthy seasonal ingredients.

It’s totally normal to crave carbs during the winter. Our advice? Eat CARBS (+ protein & fat, at each meal). Choose healthy carb options like grains and pseudograins, greens, veggies, root veggies, etc., in lieu of refined carbohydrates and sugars that leave you feeling depleted.

If you’re completely hooked on smoothies like us, try using room temperature ingredients instead of frozen (your digestive system will thank you), and adding spices that have a warming effect on the body like cinnamon, ginger and turmeric.

4. Drink tea

Drink herbal tea between meals to warm up from the inside out. Our favorites during the winter are chamomile, hibiscus, and anything with ginger root.   

5. Get outside

The last thing you want to do when your weather app reads -2° is leave your bed (SAME), but getting outside does wonders for your mood. Plus, you’d be shocked to learn how much longer you can withstand the cold when you’re wearing proper attire (see number 1).

6. Exercise

Like getting outside, regular exercise helps virtually everything. Commit to at least 30 minutes of some type of physical activity, daily - whatever you enjoy. Going back to the whole proactive self-care thing, be OK if your “laziness” level seems amplified, adjust your exercise regime accordingly. Choose gentler activities if and when you need to, just do something everyday to get up and move.

7. Supplement with vitamin D

While we always advocate for dietary sources first, unless you’re out in the sun for at least 10 minutes per day, it’s probably a good idea to supplement vitamin D during the colder months. Look for vitamin D3 as it’s metabolized 500% faster than vitamin D2. In general, food-grade vitamins and supplements are always superior to mass produced synthetic ones. We like this kind of raw D3. To test for vitamin D deficiency, have your GP or naturopath run a blood test.

8. Consider light therapy

Get happy with a SAD lamp (though we think options 1-6 work just as well).

If all else fails, you can always be like Jess and move to the land of the perpetual summer or take an extended work-cation somewhere incredibly warm.

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