When it comes to this time of year, I’m sure many of us whom experience cyclic changes ask ourselves the same question:
“Am I going crazy?”
I personally go through a small battle every year when I begin noticing that I am changing, and my mind isn’t quite working the same. It almost feels brand new every single year, with a hint of familiarity.
For me it starts subtly… like forgetting things I don’t usually, making more mistakes at work, or completely blanking out for an entire hour. I see things in my mind, thinking I have done them correctly, then when I look at the finished result its entirely another story. Sometimes I feel like I am in a dream. I get completely worn out and tired from exercise, as opposed to energised and uplifted. I feel like I have a bottomless pit in my stomach and I could eat and eat for days. I gain weight. I withdraw. I feel like a stranger to myself. The people around me feel like strangers too, because I am suddenly interacting and feeling different about the world. I’m less of myself, like a version with less power, I’m only on 30%, and with that 30%, certain functions of mine don’t exist or manifest.
What’s worse is the people around you don’t understand, you look okay on the outside because you are trying so hard, and everything you are doing is becoming so much more of a struggle, and you want to do so much less, in fact you feel that is vital, yet no-one wants to hear about that.
So you learn to keep all these odd things to yourself, and rest when you can and do as much as possible to support yourself in the process.
Yep, I’ve been here before, and I have gotten through it before, and I will again.
Now, while I don’t claim to have mastered the winter months as of yet, I’m hoping to become a Super Saiyan on the matter. There are a couple of things I’ve found that really seem to work for me, and elevate my mood within a few days. Below I’d like to share with you some of the things that help me get through the winter.
MY TOP 5 HACKS FOR WINTER
- More Sunlight
We now know that one of the main causes of the winter blues is the lack of light. The shorter days affects one’s internal clock, which can decrease mental functioning and important brain chemicals like serotonin. I have personally found that the winters where I had access to a private area to sun tan were the winters were my functioning felt the least compromised. We don’t realise how little sun we are getting in winter. We all tend to stay indoors. I now make a point of going out every early to bathe my eyes in the early morning light to get the right start to the day. I am also heading to the beach on the weekend to try and soak up some midday sun.
Although I don’t currently have access to a private area to sun-bake, I manage to maintain a manageable mood if I dedicate to this winter morning ritual.
Long gone are the days of complaining to everyone, and fighting against what’s happening to me. I’ve also learnt that ‘ignoring’ the issues, and pretending it isn’t there while trying to go about my life like a normal person didn’t work out to well for my emotional well-being either. I now make sure to support myself, and slow down wherever I can, but I also work on any negative emotions that come up, especially towards feeling limited, slower, and less cheerful, which brings me to the next hack
3. EFT + Tapping
This has been a wonderful method to clear out emotional garbage, limitations, and anxiety. Whenever I find myself suffering, or playing out a story in my head where I am the victim of life’s circumstances, I use tapping to calm me, clear out anything negative, and instil myself with the positivity to move forward.
4. Regular movement
I may not be able to do strenuous exercise on account of taking care of my adrenals, but I try to move daily. This works in well with my winter morning practice of going outside for a walk at first light to bathe my eyes with sunlight.
5. Diet + Supplements
Due to lower serotonin in winter, I am starting to allow myself to eat more carbohydrates, while still avoiding gluten. Some great carbs to help give your brain chemicals a boost are white rice or sweet potato.
I also make sure I am attentive to what I am currently needing to supplement with, I supply my brain with fat, fish oil, and boost my immune system where possible. Everyone’s needs will be different, and I urge you to get some tests done with an integrative doctor to check for imbalances.
WHAT I AM CURRENTLY TESTING
Vitamin D supplementation
Funnily enough, I have never tried to dose a higher level of vitamin D during the winter. I have recently had this added into a compound formula for me, and I will report back on my findings.
Adding in more carbohydrates than I would usually like to eat
I’m preparing to write about an experiment I am conducting with the InfraRed Sauna, famous for alleviating SAD, among many other health benefits, so stay posted 🙂