Winter can be difficult. Out east, the days are colder, wetter, and gloomier. Yet it can also be a perfect time for deep sleep, hot saunas, and much-needed rest. The one thing I miss personally is a great fireplace!
While it’s true that winter can be more isolating, it doesn’t mean we have to become isolated or feel depressed.
Below are 3 tips I have for you based on my “Foundational Principles of Functional Medicine” you can weave into your days as you move through the dark winter months…
#1: Get Plenty of Light & Fresh Air
It’s no secret that feelings of happiness can plummet during the winter. One of the reasons can be from a lack of natural daylight. A decrease in sunlight disrupts our body’s internal circadian rhythm, which is our sense of time connected to the natural flow of “wake into sleep” (or “day into night”) cycles. It also affects our body’s production of serotonin (aka the “good mood” neurotransmitter in your brain).
To maintain your natural circadian rhythms, I recommend bundling up and going for short daily walks. Locating your desk or favorite reading chair (and yourself) near a window where you can look out into the natural light is beneficial. Another alternative option is to invest in an SAD Light Therapy lamp via Amazon that you can use in your home or office on a daily basis.
#2: Stay Physically & Socially Active
Another great tip is to remain both physically and socially active. During winter, it can be much easier to stay indoors and isolate yourself from friends, family, and even exercise. Even if the weather is cold and dreary outside, you can still do simple exercises at home to boost your cardio and strength.
Depending on your age and capabilities, maybe it’s a few minutes of jumping jacks, a little bit of yoga, or even a few quick pushups. Not only will the movement feel good, but it’ll also improve your mood and keep your health in check. As far as being social, a little goes a long way. Call a friend. Go out for a quick lunch with them once a week. Or maybe go see a new movie.
#3: Keep Your Diet On Track
It can be tempting in winter to eat a lot more comfort foods, and snack on treats mindlessly straight from the bag. These are foods that are higher in processed sugars, trans & saturated fats, and often lacking in any nutritional value. This can then turn into a vicious cycle.
It’s best to keep your diet focused on healthy vegetables (frozen is fine), lean sources of protein, quality dietary fats, nuts, beans, fruits, and whole grains. This way you’ll fortify your body with the vital nutrients, minerals, and protein necessary to maintain your energy, mood, and stamina.
Also don’t forget to mix in foods that are loaded with prebiotics and probiotics to keep your immune system strong and robust during the cold/flu season as well.
While these three tips may seem easy to implement, sticking with them can be the biggest challenge. This is why turning them into tiny habits is key. You don’t have to go extreme on exercise, your diet, or socializing with friends or family. Start small.
Find out what works best for your lifestyle and make the habits automatic.
If winter still has you feeling down in the dumps, or even full of anxiety, you might want to consider our free guide called the Calm Mind Workbook. This downloadable guide will help you improve your overall healing energy while also giving you the peace of mind you desire and deserve.
Dr. Doug Pucci, founder, Pucci Wellness + Co-Creator, The Root Cause Soluiton is a functional medicine expert in practice for 30+ years. He was honored in 2020 to receive both The Best Of 2020 Awards for Functional Medicine in Oradell, NJ, and entry into Trademark Publications’ Who’s Who Directory, Honors Edition, for his pioneering work. He provides comprehensive testing for health biomarkers, advanced discovery into brain+body well-being and personalized nutrition for a diversity of people and symptoms. For guidance conquering your health issues naturally, or to learn how I can help, book a time to chat.