As winter descends into longer grey days, with less sunlight exposure, our natural circadian rhythms may shift from its regular cycle causing more restless sleep, mood fluctuations, and reduced energy, essentially being in a mental funk!
Today, IS BLUE MONDAY, a designated day (not an official holiday), that resonates with many people who struggle with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) which is a real diagnosis.
Less sunlight exposure can seriously trigger severe depression and reduce personal incentives to go outside, think positively, disengage with people or feel anxiety about the world around you.
Here are four tips recommended by health professionals and me to apply during these blue winter days:
1. Try a light therapy lamp
A light therapy lamp can be a smart way to treat mood shifts by exposing yourself to artificial light. The lamp (looks like an ipad) gives off bright light that mimics natural outdoor light. Light therapy is thought to affect brain chemicals linked to mood and sleep, easing SAD symptoms. Using a light therapy lamp may also help with other types of depression, sleep disorders and other conditions. Amazon has good deals.
2. Get outside and move!
Daily exposure to natural daylight is essential! Go outside at least once a day and get moving! It doesn’t have to be a major workout or marathon run. Go for a walk, meet friends, explore the parks around your area, go skating and enjoy the fresh air. We humans are designed to move! Listen to your body and pick one type of movement that works for you. Whichever one you choose; evidence has shown that exercise can boost mood and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. And the best thing, it needn’t cost a penny.
By taking three deep breaths (breathing in for 4 seconds and breathing out for 5 seconds breaks the cycle of negative thoughts. S
You can also repeat to yourself:
May I be free of stress and anxiety
May I be at ease
May I be happy
Experience the whole mediation of Loving Kindness from this recording to practice kindness to yourself during these dark days or whenever you need to.
Being present, in the moment and adapting a non-judgemental approach can switch your whole mindset in a flash! Acceptance, compassion and awareness offers relief from stress and anxiety to feeling better about life. It’s a daily practice that brings a positive energy beginning with the breath and moving to awareness of body sensations, sounds, and emotions to feeling whole.
4. Take Vitamin D3 daily! Increase the dosage to 3000 -4000 units during the winter months. Vitamin D3 is a standard recommendation by doctors and health professionals alike. It is part of standard lab test that sets a base level at 32 ng/ml or 50 to 80 or 100 ng/ml. Testing Vitamin D levels on a regular basis is a good idea since it also supports the immune system which is essential year round.
Take a few moments to notice the beauty around you and feel gratitude in your daily actions.
PROGRAMS + EVENTS
HEAL TO HEALTH: A MINDUL PRACTICE FOR COPING WITH STRESS begins January 21st to March 11th on Saturdays from 10 am to Noon.
“I came away with knowledge of what mindfulness was and wasn’t and habits and mindful practices that are good fits for me“. Margie S.
The next virtual course begins Saturday, January 21st to March 11th from 10am to 12 pm. Based on Jon Kabat Zinn’s mindfulness-based stress reduction program, this eight -week has helped millions of people cope with stress and chronic pain. It is a universal approach being applied in schools, workplaces and hospitals without the use of medications or supplements to calm the mind and relax the body.
FEED THE BRAIN: A Mindful Approach To Nourish The Body, Heart and Mind! Begins January 26th to March 16th on Thursdays from 5:00 to 7:00 pm (7-9 optional).
“This mindful eating program has been exactly what I’ve been looking for. It covered so many other areas that I can apply in my life.” Jennifer
Are you tired of counting calories, being on an endless diet or frustrated with your relationship with food? In FEED THE BRAIN, there is no diet or magic remedies. It’s based on mindful awareness practices for connecting to your body, learning about the body’s physiology and the benefits of slowing down the eating process. It will change your understanding about appreciating food with all your senses.
Join me every Tuesday at 5 pm as we PRACTICE TOGETHER in meditation and movement practice. Exploring other meditations and perspectives, we practice together to expand our awareness about mindfulness and reducing stress, emotionally, physically and sensuously. These are currently free drop-in sessions open to everyone who would like to practice in a community for only 45 to 60 minutes . Come and check it out!
contact me if you have any questions. both are great programs to understand the impact of stress on your body and mind.
Be well and stay safe,
Rani Glick is a certified holistic nutritionist, mindful eating and mindfulness coach. If you are interested in knowing more about mindfulness or mindful eating, contact email@example.com.