"Winter is coming"
-George R.R. Martin
One of the most difficult things about living in Northern America has been staying positive during what can often be described as ‘never ending Winters’. I have spent more time that I would like to admit fantasizing a warm beach front, sandy shores, sipping Piña collates in the sunshine. The rude reality is that sometimes you must brave the winter, and I have actually learned to enjoy the cold dark winters in ways I never believed possible.
If you take nothing else from the post, possibly the most important thing you can do is remain active. It is easy to make excuses when it’s raining cat’s and dogs outside, the snow is up to your neck, and all you want to do is cuddle on the blankets and watch the entire season of Breaking Bad in one sitting… we’ve all been there. Get your ass off the couch and MOVE. Go on a walk. Invest in a good pair of waterproof boots, an umbrella, snowshoes. Whatever it takes. Keep moving for the sake of your mental health and to stay healthy
Take your Supplements
When you live in a region that only gets Sunlight 3 months out of the year, and you work a 8 hours a day, indoors everyday, chances are you are not getting enough sunlight. Vitamin D is vital for many people to supplement with. Vitamin D can do wonders in warding off certain diseases, fatigue, depression, back pain, hair loss & muscle weakness. (1) Check with your doctor for a simple blood test to check your Vitamin D levels…it can be life changing.
Celebrate the Dark with Light
I used to associate Christmas lights with well, Christmas. However I have come to realization that they may serve another purpose. I think they are meant to bring light & Joy to an otherwise dark dismal time. Our family has began celebrating light in the winter, and has proven to be a healing change of outlook. Here in the Northern Hemisphere, specifically Seattle Washington. The shortest day of the year is a mere 8.5 hours. (1). Amazingly it gets even shorter the further north you go. Winter solstice is on December 21st and let me tell you, if you don’t have a “happy light” you are missing out. These simple lights, like this one, mimic the UV rays of the sun and have proven to be a useful against Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
Bring The Outside In
When you spend more time inside your home it’s important to make your home feel good. The best way to do this is to minor the natural world within your home. Plenty of house plants, earth-tone colors throughout the furniture and walls. Be sure to open the windows during the day to let in as much light as possible and to feel better connected with whatever is going on outside.
For those of you familiar with the film The Shining you’ll remember the infamous quote by the deranged dad played by Jack Nicholson, spiraling into a murderous case of cabin fever. “All work and no Play can make John a dull boy”. It can be easy to self isolate when the weather becomes dismal. It is important for EVERYONES well being to feel connected with others. Find ways to befriend the neighbors. Have regular dinner parties, go chat up the cashiers at the grocery store. Whatever it takes, make time to spend with other people. This is critical.