It’s been a long, long winter. Spring may have technically sprung, but most of us aren’t feeling very excited about it with the continued cold and dreary weather. We all secretly wished for the unusually warm winter of last year, but Mother Nature was in a different mood and the lingering cold has followed a rough patch of storms, hurricanes and blizzards.
In my treatment rooms at the Yinova Center, there is a resounding answer of “Blah” from my patients when I ask how they are feeling. The typical complaints I hear of include fatigue, low mood, lack of motivation, and feeling repeatedly like they’re coming down with a cold.
If you’re also feeling these symptoms, don’t dismay as warmth and sunshine will eventually come. In the meantime, here are five things you can do to help combat those “Blahs.”
1. Sleep more
Allow yourself to hit that snooze and get a few more minutes in bed. Better yet, go to bed earlier! If you’re feeling tired and worn down by winter it’s not unlikely that you’re also a bit overworked and over stressed. Sleep helps restore energy and blood in the body, so let it do it’s job without cutting corners. How do you feel when your boss cuts those deadlines shorter? Exactly!
2. Get enough vitamin D
There is an abundance of growing research in the past years showing how vitamin D plays a pivotal role in immune health and protects us against upper respiratory infections. A deficiency of this sunshine vitamin is incredibly common in our modern age because we spend very little time outdoors, especially in the winter. Other studies also link depression and low mood to depleted vitamin D levels, so there is yet another reason to up your reserves. Since laying in the sun on a warm beach may not be an option for most of us, other dietary sources of vitamin D are out there and include oysters, fish roe, fermented cod liver oil, and a Vitamin D3 supplement. We carry an excellent liquid dropper version by Klaire Labs at the Yinova Center. If you’re wondering whether the vitamin D in your multi is enough, most likely its not. The Vitamin D Council recommends at least 6,000 IU per day for healthy adults.
3. Work out
Its easy to feel sluggish and stuck right now. I hear my patients complaints of being too tired and unmotivated to exercise. Unfortunately, energy gets stuck easily in the body when we don’t make time to move and shake it. Get stuck enough and you’ll feel tired too. It’s a negative feedback loop. The best thing you can do is force yourself to get to that yoga class you’ve been neglecting or back on the treadmill/spin bike/elliptical and move your energy. Wouldn’t that exercise high feel great right now?
4. Laugh out loud
Laughter is a an excellent mood lifter and stress reliever. Gelotology, or the scientific study of how laughter affects the brain, has through decades of research shown how laughter can stimulate the brain’s regulation of stress, mood, blood pressure, and immunity. Laughter is good medicine so find something that tickles your humor!
5. Get acupuncture
You knew that one was coming didn’t you? Your acupuncturist can diagnose what underlying issues there may that’s keeping your energy levels and immune system low, and prescribe Chinese herbs to help you get your vitality back. Sometimes just a simple acupuncture tune-up can beat those Blahs!