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Beat the winter blues: tips to take care of your physical & mental health

Don’t get beaten by the winter blues, I am here to help you with some tips for your physical and mental health during the winter period

As the days get shorter and the sun goes down earlier, we are all noticing physically & mentally the season change from summer time to wintertime. It’s getting colder, we have less natural light available during the day and we feel a bit moodier depending on the weather.

This winter is going to be a bit different this year due to Covid-19 and the restrictions around us but no worries, I got you covered with some easy and simple tips to practice in your daily life in order to avoid the winter blues.

Here is a list of the daily change you can apply to make it easier on yourself:

1. Catch some sunlight daily

When the sun is shining, grab your coat and scarf, go enjoy the weather for a short (or long) walk! The sunlight is a good way to keep your body active and your brain alert. Breathing fresh air can wake up your senses and keep you focus for the rest of the day.

A good way to start the day or to enjoy a lunch walk to digest is always a good idea!

2. Drink plenty of water

During the cold days you probably don’t feel thirsty and even less attracted to drink cold water. To function properly, your body needs to use water to keep your vital organs running. You can think of temperature room water or hot water to drink combined with fruits or tea. A perfect way to keep eliminating the toxins out of your body during the cold time.

3. Cook soups for lunch or dinner

The best way to keep you warm at the end of the day is to cook some homemade soup. Prepare it with some seasonal vegetables from your region/country. It is a really easy dinner idea and quick to make for several days.

4. Eat seasonal vegetables

Some vegetables are more suitable for winter dishes than summer ones (think cucumber, tomatoes, salad). If you live in Europe, select the available local season vegetables from your market or local shops. You should find plenty of mushrooms, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, beets, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, leek …. Those will keep you warmer longer and have some healthy nutrients for you like vitamin D, blood flow, fibers …

5. Add some spices to everything!

Spices have several mood and health benefits that can give you an extra boost during the colder months. You can think of cinnamon/cardamom (in your porridge or cookies!), cayenne pepper, garlic, turmeric, ginger (fresh in your tea) …

6. Get some extra vitamin D

If the rain is kicking for weeks your body might not get enough vitamin D to absorb anymore if you stay indoor for a long period. Vitamin D can improve your mood, keep your bones and muscles healthy. You can absorb vitamin D in food from oily fish, milk, eggs, red meat or for plant-based food from mushrooms, plant-based milks, tofu, orange.

If you need extra vitamin D support, I’ll recommend you to buy some quality supplement daily. You can contact me for more info if you have any doubt about this.

7. Keep moving in any way possible

Is your gym open? Stay motivated to workout at least 3 times a week with a buddy! This is the best way to stay accountable for showing up at the gym and kicking your ass when the mood is a bit down. You don’t need to push your limits at every session, just enjoy moving your body and get some heart rate going up. You’ll instantly feel better after your session and more energized.

Is your gym close? Working out from home will bring you a lot of different excuses (too cold, alone, no inspiration, no equipment), however think of this workout moment as a way to help your body and your mind to stay healthy and active. Do it for yourself!

On the days you cannot go to the gym or don’t feel like moving long, I would highly recommend you to go for a walk around your neighbourhood or in a park. Listen to your favourite podcast/music or call your loved ones. Fresh air and moving daily is always a good idea to feel better on a bad day.

8. Meditate and stay positive

Some days you will feel shit some days you will feel good. That’s ok, you are human after all, not every day should be a good day. You can still try to stay positive daily by practicing mindfulness and meditation. 5 minutes per day to start is already a good start! Mindfulness is important to make you more aware of your daily choices, your life and your well-being in the moment. Meditation is a gentle way to help you to focus more on the things that really matter to you, slowing down your busy days and having some time alone.

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