1. Accept the reality as it is.
Don’t expect summer when it's winter. Things are different now, and you might find yourself to be less active. You might miss your morning workouts, want to stay in bed longer, go out less, crave carbs more. That’s not a sign things are going downhill. That’s just a sign that your body is adjusting to the season, and accepting that will allow for your mind to accept it too. It's only natural you feel less outdoorsy. That doesn't mean you need to hibernate and give in to all resistance, however, just make sure you work with it, compassionately, not push against it. The only way out is through!
2. Shape-shift your routines.
Leaning in to a softer attitude could help change the perspective on these darker times. Think of how you can adjust your standards, so they are more realistic, and less painful (goodbye 7 AM bootcamp in the park). A few examples:
Time off. A city like Amsterdam, to which the cold is nothing new, offers a million fun options that gel better with the weather and your mood. You can treat yourself to a massage or a visit to the sauna, but also exhibitions, theater-shows, going out for dinner, tucking yourself in winter wear, going for a walk through the Vondelpark and warming up with a cup of soup or a Superfood Latte afterwards. Enjoy the coziness around.
Work out. If you usually play outside, but find it harder to stick to that now, try joining a gym, or find another workout that suits this seasons you. (Hot) yoga may sound a bit more appealing than going for a run in cold wet weather.
Sleep. If there is room for you to go to bed a little earlier and get up a little later, then by all means, go for it. Even if it's only over the weekend. Even if you have to adjust your schedule. Allow for your body to get some extra rest to recharge.
Eat. You won’t crave the same foods as you do over summer. We want heartwarming and nutritious, so think oatmeal, soups, stews. The options are limitless, can be just as healthy as over summer, and you can still hit the raw-till-4 feeling by grabbing a fresh juice or a smoothie in between.
3. Stay on top of your happy hormones.
Still feeling low? It might have to do with your hormone-balance. Continuing to feed and treat your body right always helps.
- Find out here which foods will biologically alleviate your mood.
- Working out will give you an endorphin boost, increase your serotonin and dopamine production, and release cortisol (stress).
- Make sure you keep a close eye on the effects of the amount of light you get a day. You could consider a light box, but it can also be as easy as taking a 30 minute walk when it's light outside, or taking Vitamin D supplements.
- When it's darker, our melatonin-produce can become disrupted. This hormone is the one that passes the message on to your brain that it's time to close your eyes according to how dark it's getting. Try and make a distinct difference between day- and night time in your house, and make sure you don't have any screens in the bedroom. If the struggle becomes too real, you can try melatonin supplements, but make sure you don't take more than 2 mg's per night, and not for too long, as your body will become adjusted to it coming from an external source otherwise.
Welcome winter as it is, and fine-tune your life to it. Easy as that. Just go with the flow! To make the day that is officially known as Blue Monday a little easier for you ... On the 15th of January, you will receive a 10% discount on any blue product that includes the magical algae-extract that is Blue Majik (a natural mood booster by itself!).