I’m not good at wintering. Never have been, likely never will be. I definitely get SAD (seasonal affective disorder) and have to take extra precautionary measures to keep my energy and mood in check during the long, cold, grey months. The fact of the matter is that our hormones change seasonally and winter takes its toll on our healthy thyroid hormones and adrenals. Many of us have lower serotonin (happy hormone) levels in our brains which results in feelings of depression and lethargy.
I do a lot of self care and habitual things that I know make me feel good but these are my top three! And they’re simple!
Get the D
Yup, get as much of it as you can! Vitamin D (specifically D3) can be gained from sun exposure, but when this is not an option we can up our intake by eating more fatty fish like sardines, salmon, tuna, or eggs. If you’re not a fish fan grab a high quality supplement to soldier through winter. I also make sure to up my intake of Vitamin B and Magnesium.
Sweat it Out
Obviously, my first choice for a good sweat is via exercise, but any sweat method will do. The act of sweating is like therapy for your hormones and level of stress. Find a sauna, take a hot bath, or pretend you’re on the wrestling team and wrap your body in trash bags and run laps around the high school gym (probably don’t do this!). Sweating all year long is my therapy, but in the winter I try to sneak in an extra spin class, track down an infrared sauna, and buy some fancy bath salts and sweat out the SAD blues.
Eat green foods. Plants need sunlight to grow and when you eat them you are taking all the D, plus phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Green foods increase your energy levels! Grab a green juice or make a big ass salad on the regular. I literally get goosebumps when I drink green juice. Is it mental? Maybe! But who cares. It makes sense that we feel more alive when we eat foods that are also alive. Also, get some plants!
Mustardy Sprout Recipe
1 lb. Brussels Sprouts
Cooking Oil (I use coconut or avocado)
2 cloves Garlic
2 tbl Grainy Mustard
Himalayan Pink Sea Salt
What to Do:
Preheat Oven to 400 degrees.
Trim and halve sprouts. Toss in a bowl with oil, chopped garlic, a few pinches of pink sea salt.
Spread onto a pan and roast at 400 for 20 - 30 minutes.
When cooked to your desired crunch level toss back in the bowl and add mustard and stir until evenly spread.
Finish with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.
Try these tricks, but also find things that work for you. Life is short and we don’t have time to suffer, so make the best of each season any way you can!