If you lived in a cold climate, you would naturally think of winterizing your home. But what can you do to prepare your body and mind for waning daylight and brisker temperatures?
Just as a house requires insulation in the winter, our bodies benefit from extra layers of clothing and warming foods. Even our skin can require more hydration because of dry, cold air.
For many of us, the ritual of moving the clocks back at the end of daylight saving time can trigger a case of the winter blues as the days darken earlier. We may find ourselves oversleeping, craving carbs or even feeling overcome with fatigue or depression.
The good news is that a few simple steps can combat the winter blahs. Here are five natural tips that benefit the body, mind and spirit:
- Keep your office and home well-lighted with full-spectrum lighting or Reveal bulbs, which cast a bluish tint that creates a color spectrum closer to natural sunlight.
The Light Research Center reports that full-spectrum lighting improves mood, productivity, mental awareness and vitamin D synthesis in the body. Some researchers suggest that it’s not only a matter of getting more light, but that the most important time to get light is in the morning.
- Diffusing essential oils such as eucalyptus, peppermint and ginger so they are inhaled can provide a host of health benefits.
Essential oils travel quickly into the limbic part of the brain, which affects emotions, regulates hormones and stimulates the immune system. Research suggests that essential oils can lessen sinusitis and allergies and boost mood.
I highly recommend using therapeutic-grade essential oils, such as those sold by Nature’s Gifts, Mountain Rose and Young Living.
A cool mister is preferable to a warm one to obtain the best results from aromatherapy. Start by using a few drops of each.
Essential oil roll-ons can be applied to the wrist or behind the ears. Visit www.gedaliahhealingarts.com to learn about my winter roll-on.
- Keep moving.
A daily brisk walk and a dance class are surefire ways to kick-start your endorphins and banish the winter blues. One of my go-to moves is to bounce on a Rebounder, a mini trampoline that can mimic the benefits of a long-distance run in far less time.
- Stay warm and hydrated with soups and stews.
While the colder weather may make us gravitate toward heavier foods, eat them in moderation. Add foods rich in vitamin C, such as oranges, dark leafy greens and spirulina, to your diet to boost your immune system. Limit your consumption of foods with white sugar, white flour and white rice because they increase heaviness in the body and mind.
- Remember to breathe.
Set aside as little as 10 minutes a day for conscious breathing. Deeply
inhaling and exhaling while listening to the sound of your breath can help you maintain calm and avoid feeling caught up in the frenzy of holiday shopping or travel. A few simple, extended inhales and exhales can shift your awareness and help you feel present and relaxed.
Be sure to take time to breathe, appreciate and pause. It will help you stay fit and cheerful and better able to enjoy the season.