The third Thursday of the month has arrived! I hope you enjoyed my introduction post last week and showed yourself some much-deserved love.
I have to admit that as much as I love the quiet moments of stillness and reflection the winter season entails, I am craving that sweet, light-hearted energy the spring season offers. Around this time of the year, we all begin to feel a bit restless, irritable or downright depressed in anticipation for the weather to break and spring time to greet us with longer, brighter days. Commonly spoken of as the winter blues, I’ve noticed many people have been experiencing waves of this undesirable condition recently, myself included.
Here are 8 essentials to conquer those winter blues!
In whatever capacity that may be for you, keep on keepin’ on! Exercise releases endorphins, which in turn, creates a mood boosting effect. While bracing the cold to take that yoga class or go to the gym is that last thing you feel like doing, I’m telling you, get out and go for it. You’ll feel so much better afterwards!
Get Your Daily Dose Of Sunshine
Vitamin D – the only vitamin that is also a hormone. We naturally get Vitamin D from the sun’s UVB rays, by exposing our bare skin to sunlight for short, safe periods of time…let’s be mindful of skin cancer and avoid roasting in the sun. During the winter months, with layer upon layer keeping almost every inch of skin covered, this can be difficult. Adding a Vitamin D3 supplement into your winter diet can do you wonders for your physical and emotional health. Studies show that the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (winter blues) may be linked to changing levels of vitamin D3, which can affect serotonin levels in the brain. Read more about the psychological affects of Vitamin D in this Psychology Today article.
Soak It Up
Comforting, soothing and detoxing, Epsom salt soaks paired with essential oils offer relief to muscle and joint pains that are so often exacerbated with colder weather. Add a few drops of essential oils (my winter time favorites are lavender, vetiver, and peppermint) into 2 cups of Epsom salt, sprinkle into warm running bath water and soak up the benefits – your body will be so very grateful. Close your eyes, sink in a little deeper and transport yourself to exotic places, where you can swim in the sun kissed ocean waters far away from the ice-cold terrains of winter.
Sip Steaming Winter Tonics
Soothe the soul and warm up with a mug of herbal tea. I find that drinking herbal tea is a great way to stay hydrated in the wintertime, as a glass of ice-cold water never sounds appealing. For the morning hours, chai or lemon ginger are personal favorites to wake up and get my day going. In the afternoon, a super antioxidant rich green tea with raw honey and lemon do the trick. I like to end my days with a calming chamomile or liver detoxing roasted dandelion root. Being a yogi, I’m a fan of Yogi Teas, with each tea bag offering a short quote of inspiration to brew over as you sip your steaming herbal tonic.
Boost Your Immune System
We all need a little boost this time of year, so here are my three go-to immune boosters:
Vitamin C – from chewable tablets, to pills to Emergen-C powder packets, whenever I feel run down, a Vitamin C supplement is the first thing I grab.
Echinacea – drop the instructed amount of extract into a few ounces of water and take it back like a shot to your health.
Raw honey – perfectly paired in an herbal tea, I swear that a tablespoon a day keeps the doctor away. Raw honey has anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-microbial properties, among many others, so good luck to any harmful bacteria when you’ve got this golden liquid running through your system.
Ward Off Lingering Colds
Alongside incorporating my golden triad of immune boosters, I apply this blend of oils to the bottoms of my feet at the first sign of a cold. I’ve been using this blend for years now, and just like Zicam (only natural), it definitely cuts your cold in half, if not completely warding it off altogether. Place a few drops of neem, tea tree and olbas oil on the bottoms of your feet and cover in thick socks before bed – prepare to sweat it out overnight. I always go full throttle with this and layer in sweats and a sweatshirt. Chances are, you’ll wake up the next morning feeling better than you did the night before.
Honor Your Feelings
Remember, always stay true to how you’re feeling – you know yourself best. If you don’t feel like going out on a weekend evening, then honor that feeling and stay home. Just because the winter season brings up certain feelings you may not like doesn’t mean that battling these natural cycles will make you feel better. Sometimes, accepting where we are and what we’re feeling, then delving into that a little deeper, can lead us through a journey of healing and self-discovery that brings us out happier, healthier and lighter on the other end. Honor your feelings, honor yourself, and honor the natural tendency towards solitude at these times. Enjoy these moments of quiet stillness as the spring season gently transitions them with her buzzing social butterfly energy.
And remember, keep hope alive – for there’s only 29 days left until spring embraces us with her blossoming arms…but hey, who’s counting (ME! and this website: Days Until Spring)
* I am by no means a licensed healthcare professional. I only give advice on matters that I have found to be beneficial in regards to my own health. Everyone’s system works differently, so please take this into account.