I’m writing this post for myself and everybody else who thrives in the summer time but wants to crawl into a hole when the days get shorter and the degrees approach freezing.
Winter blues aka seasonal affective disorder?
I’m gonna kick your ass.
Here’s my top tips on how to stay happy, active and productive during those cold, grey, rainy/snowy winter days.
As we approach the peak of winter your body needs tons of vitamins and minerals (especially Vitamin C and Zink) to prevent you from catching a cold and you also want to eat as many nutrient dense foods as possible to keep you energised and feeling good.
first thing in the morning: detox drink
I personally like to start my day off with making a fresh lemon and ginger tea with honey. I blend the ginger and lemon with 1/2 cup of water, then strain it and add more hot water. I also add honey to it because it tastes amazing and honey works like a natural antibiotic and prevents you from getting sick too.
This drink might taste unusual to you at first if you’re not used to consuming ginger but I promise you, it will wake you up, boost your immune system and it feels like it’s killing all the bad germs and yucky stuff inside of you so yeah. It’s great.
Shoutout to my friend Kat (Instagram @happy_detox_kat) for making me drink this!
For breakfast I usually crave something warm like porridge with cinnamon and a ton of fruit on top (in winter I usually use apple, banana and orange or I make my porridge with frozen berries).
I also add nuts and seeds sometimes for healthy fats and protein.
When I feel like something savoury I usually have avocado or hummus on toast and have some fruit on the side.
In between meals I’ll have a juice or smoothie with as many vegetables and superfoods as possible. (This is a great way to get your greens and nutrients in on those busy days where you don’t have time to cook)
And of course – it is also super important to stay hydrated. I drink water, coconut water and tea throughout the day and at night I sometimes make hot cocoa or a yellow latte to warm up.
Lunch & Dinner
Lunch and dinner in winter for me is usually something warm as well like pumpkin soup with coconut milk and ginger, a vegan burrito bowl, stir fry, curry etc.
I know, I know. When it’s cold and dark outside I also just want to crawl up in a ball and sleep or eat and watch Netflix all day and night.
BUT it is so important to get moving during this time of year to stay healthy and happy.
If you’re anything like me and you have a very busy schedule, I always recommend fitting in your exercise first thing in the morning, at night or – if you can – as a break in between work (i.e. going for a nice afternoon walk).
Even if you just take 20 minutes to meditate and stretch every morning, do some yoga or walk to the train station/store instead of driving it makes a huge difference.
Moving your body out in the cold improves circulation (you’ll feel less cold in general when you move regularly), it boosts your immune system and your serotonin levels, makes your skin look fresh and rosy and it will make you feel accomplished af. Trust me.
3. Still feeling cold, tired & unmotivated?
- Go out and get drunk!
Just kidding, but go out and do something! Go meet your friends in town, take your bf/gf for a walk, visit a Christmas market, go to work or study at a coffee shop, go shopping. It’s very hard not to stay in as much as you can in winter but it’s even more important to not completely become a hermit during the colder months.
- Sign up for a gym or new workout class.
Summer bodies are made in the winter! 3, 2, 1…go!
- Consider supplements
Look for Vitamin D, C, Zink, B6/B complex, Omega 3 or a serotonin boosting supplement. All these assist in healthy body and brain function and thus help keep your energy and mood way way up.
- Turn the lights on baby!
This is not the time to try to save energy. Since we usually don’t get much sunlight AT ALL during winter we probably all are Vitamin D deficient and my mood drops immensely with the lack of daylight. On those rainy, dark or gloomy days I turn the lights in my room on full when I work or have to focus and I found that it makes me feel A LOT better and more awake. You don’t have to do that all day but when you feel the afternoon slump creeping in open the window, stretch for 2 minutes and turn the lights on and you’ll immediately feel a little better.
- Try not to complain about the weather…
I was soooo good at constantly complaining about how much I hated the cold and winter that at some point I realized I was just focusing more and more energy on the weather than I would have if I just accepted it for what it is: a season.
This too shall pass. And it will.
Now go build a snowman, cuddle your dog, light a candle, make some hot chocolate or do whatever you have to do to make the most of it!