Most people will notice that they don't quite feel the same in winter as they do in the summer. Maybe they just don't have the same energy levels, or perhaps they feel a full blown depression around this time but everyone seems to feel a little "blah" especially after all the excitement and craziness of the holidays.
There are definitely a few things that can contribute to these feelings:
1) Not Getting Enough Sunlight
Getting outside daily can help to increase your energy, help with encouraging proper sleep patterns and get you some much needed exercise. Even when it's cold, the fresh air, nature and sunlight are extremely helpful for improving mood as well. Of course, you should also take a vitamin D supplement but there are much more benefits to getting outside than just the D.
2) Post- Holiday Blues
Whether it was a few too many drinks, one too many holiday treats or just the reality check of getting your Visa bill in January, circumstances can set you for a huge let down if you let it. Try to focus on "fun" health! Get the kids out tobogganing or plan for a weekend away in January, so that it's not all serious business and resolution time.
3) Failed Resolutions
Trying to change anything takes some serious resolve and by now most people have already given up. Maybe the resolution wasn't clear enough. Making small goals that have clear sacrifices are much more likely to succeed. For example, a goal to lose 10 lbs isn't enough, instead try something like striving for 20 mins of brisk walking every day at lunch and avoiding all sugars and flours for 30 days. Set new goals each month, regardless of whether you achieved your previous goal or not.
4) Reduced Social Time
Have you noticed that your friends go into hibernation in January? Do you do it as well? Winter can be a great time to try something new and meet new friends too. Try a dance class, join an indoor sport or try a cooking class to get out of the lure of the TV.
Naturally we all move a little slower in the winter, our minds are more introspective and our bodies a little less energetic but we are not hibernating bears! We need to work at the things that make us feel happiness and spend more time doing those things than worrying about the stuff that brings us stress.
If you've already tried these strategies and you think there may be something else going on, possibly a thyroid condition, hormonal dysfunction, depression or seasonal affective disorder, please call Dr Coombs to book an appointment at one of her 2 locations in Calgary:
Westbrook Momentum Health 403-454-1600
Creekside Momentum Health 403-239-6773
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Frances Wang, ND
A naturopathic doctor and a mother who loves life, the outdoors and exercise.