I am writing this from snowy Edmonton, Alberta Canada where temperatures are well below freezing and we have piles of snow. The weather changed in the last week first getting unseasonably mild and dumping piles of snow on us and then we were blessed with a cold snap. My mood retaliated by putting me into hibernation mode. I spent whole days in my fuzzy blue robe, curled up with my fleece blanket watching movies. I kept the blinds closed to keep out the light and sipped coffee and baileys as if it was the magical cure for winter. I started preparing for hibernation around Thanksgiving (second week of October in Canada) by stuffing carbs into me till I had packed on some solid weight and I felt fatigued enough to sleep for months. With very few hours of daylight it seemed like the natural choice!
Unfortunately my kids were not loving he idea of winter hibernation. They have got shit to do and places to be and apparently I am their appointed chauffer. I am honestly tired of feeling tired and I miss those carefree days of summer. I miss the sun on my face, long days, bbqs, beachy music, flip flops, pretty colored cocktails with umbrellas in them and unmistakable song of the ice cream truck.
I am sitting here thinking about the best things about summer, trying to pinpoint what I miss the most and how I can use that to combat this “blue” feeling!
I miss sunshine
We are lucky to still get a fair bit of sunshine but when it is cold out it is harder and harder to get opportunities to be outside. As humans we make 90% of our vitamin D naturally by sunlight exposure to the skin.Humans spend less time in the sun today than at any point in human history – which is why more than 1 billion people worldwide are vitamin D deficient. While vitamin D supplements are an alternative when sunlight exposure is not available it is not natures intended way of producing the vitamin. I read recently that taking your vitamin D supplements with red wine makes them more soluble and the vitamin is better absorbed by the body. There was no scientific evidence to back up this theory but it is certainly worth a try 😉
Back yard BBqs and flip flops
I BBQ all year around. Last week I cleaned off two feet of snow from the BBq and grilled up some rally tasty rib eye steaks. The problem was putting my boots on and taking them off became tedious. Oh how I miss flip flops.
I paired the steak with a nice green salad and some grilled asparagus. The combination felt almost tropical! Cutting back on the junk food and processed foods in favor of lean meats and fruits and vegetables can help stabilize your mood and winter weight. Make small changes to your diet and you will notice your mood and energy level soar. Remember the benefits of Omega 3 fatty acids found naturally in fatty fish. There’s a neurotransmitter called serotonin in your body, and when you eat fatty fish, or take a high-quality fish oil supplement, your serotonin levels go up, which leads to your mood going up. Win win!!
The Sounds of Summer
Sometimes Nostalgia can stimulate the brain and compensate for what is missing. I often feel like that when listening to Summer songs. I am quite honestly not ready for Christmas music so I made my own summer mix. Sometimes I close my eyes and listen to a song that takes me back to a time when the windows are rolled down and my sunglasses are on, my hair blowing in the hot summer breeze…..
I imagine this is a hard one for everyone. We all know the benefits of daily exercise to our health and well being but in the cold weather we often opt to pass on our regular activities in favor a warm house, a TV and our PJs. Adding a little bit of daily activity can certainly boost your mood. For those of you who love to sled, ski, snowshoe….wonderful for you. My favorite winter activity is coming back indoors, closing the blinds and pretending it is not winter outside, maybe put on a Zac Brown CD and have a hoola hoop contest with my girls.
Remember walking around in sandals with pretty red toenails? There is very little motivation for pretty feet in the winter because barely anyone sees them and the bottoms of your feet get rough and winter worn. There is not a more perfect time to get a pedicure. Guaranteed to lift your mood. Go to a nice place, add a massage (sometimes they will serve you wine) RELAX…pretend you are on a beach!!
GET OUT/See People
One of the biggest differences between summer and winter is the amount of socializing we do. As the malls are filling up with Christmas shoppers take advantage of winter specials at museums and art galleries. Explore your city (or town) the way you always intended. Meet a friend for brunch, go to a matinee. To heck with Book Clubs,throw an unforgettable “SUMMER GET TOGETHER” in the winter. Have your guests dress summery, bring a tropical dish and serve summer inspired cocktails. CHEERS!!
Its hard to make big changes in the winter when the days are short and our energy is low. One little change here and there will leave you feeling happier and more energetic, therefore apt to follow through with more changes.
Have a happy winter and check out my summer inspired mix below. I am off to my tepid bath where I have Hawaiian leis hung over the shower curtain and the sweet sound of Jimmy Buffets Margaritaville playing on my Samsung Smart Phone. I even hid my salt shaker, therefore it’s lost (and there is a woman to blame!). I am going in topless because somehow I know that after too many Margaritas and a day of sunshine that is how I would end up!!
Tell me how you cope with winter!