Seasonal change sensitivities. Problem solved.
Seasonal depression is a serious and challenging disorder and for those diagnosed, professional help is very important. But for rest of us just feeling the winter blues, Aspire gathered some simple ways to handle the dark days of winter with a template of wellness, so training and life stays the same, and only the weather changes.
It is important to note that the seasonal blues involve patterns of nature, making the elements of prevention slightly unique in comparison to generalized depression. Since we can not control nature, we need to take the reigns on the things we can control.
Start with a simple daily/weekly plan to prevent both decision fatigue and daily dips in energy.
1. Grab your calendar.
Mark all known activities, events, and target dates.
Next infuse wellness objectives:
· Aim to do your training/exercise in the morning (choose one day to sleep extra)
· If you have practice after-school or workout later, get up a few minutes extra and stretch
· Try to fit in a weekday warm meal (even if it is at work, after workout, or during mid-morning break; warm food in the winter is a good thing)
· Create a midday-evening transition into the dark such as time with friends, or a pre-sunset walk, or a mantra hike, bike, or run
· Plan a consistent midweek event; whether it is a visit to the library, coffee shop, walk through the town park — create a network of friends that one day a week you can meet for a ritualistic gathering that is different then what you normally do — My Swedish relatives gather with neighborhood friends for various treats on Friday afternoons, and one day a week Swedish school children gather and have a special treat to celebrate the end of the week, a sort of educational youth fellowship
2. Think clothing and nutrition
Pick all clothes out at night, including workout clothes (they say brighter the better :) as well as the outfit you’ll be changing into when you arrive home — Winter clothes can prevent absorption of the outdoor benefits like sunshine, fresh-air, and healthy bugs. Winter layers also restrict natural blood-flow :(
Counteract the aforementioned and up your intake of vitamin D through veggies or fish. Also, expose yourself to as many plants as possible, even just a few small succulents or spider plants will make a huge difference in your home or work environment.
3. Maintain the inner and outer you:
Push to stay in summer-shape. A change in weight, physical shape, and fitness level, can impact emotions and hormones. Therefore, move as much as possible, eat clean, stay hydrated. Maintain visualization practice by going over in your mind, the things you want to improve upon — it is also helpful to journal the progress.
AND at the end of the day…
Remove winter layers upon arriving home, and change into loose warm organic fabrics, this will increase blood flow, allow for cortisol levels to lower, and create a mindful positive connection to being home in the light of the dark.
Need a more personal game-plan? Connect with me via phone, email or Instagram.