Surviving the Northwest during winter
Tips to increase your energy level
There are so many great reasons to live in the Northwest: the beautiful landscape, easy access to fresh produce year round, biker-friendly roads and nothing can quite beat an Oregon summer. In fact, a lot of us Northwest natives tolerate the dark, dreary winter months because we know the Northwest’s secret of quintessential summers.
With limited amounts of sunlight and longer spans of darkness, it is obviously harder to stay motivated to be active, healthy and happy; whereas during the summer, these positive feelings come natural. In an attempt to beat seasonal depression, here are some natural remedies that can uplift, motivate and help you beat the winter time slump.
Vitamin D: the sunshine vitamin
Vitamin D is naturally produced in your skin when direct sunlight hits it. Because we experience less exposure to the sun during the winter months, an insufficient amount of Vitamin D is produced, leaving one with a deficit of its proven health benefits. These benefits include
- Strengthening the immune system
- Nourishment of your body’s cells
- Building strong bones
- Helping to manage blood pressure
All of these benefits assist in increasing energy levels, happiness and well-being.
Stick to a schedule
Don’t sleep the day away! With the shortened winter days, it’s easy to find yourself sleeping more and doing less. Adjusting your sleep schedule by going to bed and getting up earlier means a more restful sleep, more exposure to daylight and feeling more energized.
Recent studies have shown the positive effects of chiropractic and mood. Chiropractors know that misalignment in the spine (particular in the first, second or third vertebrae) causes a disruption in communication between the brain stem, spine and nerves. This pressure on the brain stem from the misalignment can lead to a chemical interference, affecting the normal production of serotonin and dopamine. Low levels of these brain chemicals often results in a change of mood. Adjusting the spine can release the pressure on the brain stem, allowing the brain to send the right signals, leading to a happier outlook.
Stress is often a culprit for feeling down and less energized. Meditation has proven that slow, deep breaths through the abdomen increases energy and the feeling of tranquility. If meditation intimidates you, start small: practice meditating for 5 minutes a day and increase the amount of time each week. Similar to exercise, it’s better to be consistent than to do a whole lot at once.
Move your body
Exercising is one of the last things you want to do when you’re feeling in a funk and your energy is depleted. However, finding an exercise program you enjoy and incorporating it into your weekly schedule actually boosts one’s energy and mood due to the endorphins being released into your body. Overcome the winter slump by incorporating a few, or all of these natural remedies into your daily routine. Your body will be so energized that you’ll find yourself forgetting that it’s wintertime in the Northwest.