Hello friend! We are creeping slowly, but surely, towards the darkest day of the year. And, in NB we’ve gone back to single household bubbles and both of the yoga studios where I’m teaching are closed for the time being, so I’ve been spending a lot more time by myself lately. I am an introvert at heart, but I do love spending time with my community and my closest friends and family, so it’s been a lonely couple of weeks. I’m sure we’re all feeling the same sense of isolation to some degree and with the days getting shorter, it’s harder to get outside for a little nature therapy.
To help support you through the darker, colder days of winter, I’m sharing my new Happy Belly, Brain, & Body: Love Your Healthy Self Nutrition Program that starts on Monday, January 18th.
It’s a 28 day guided program (complete with online cooking classes, guided meditations, yoga classes, and Q & A sessions!!) to give you the tools & knowledge to make lasting habit changes to help improve your sleep, clear up your skin, improve digestion, & balance out your moods with just a little bit of time dedicated to your self care & nutrition every day. You can check out all the information right here and if you sign up by midnight on Wednesday, January 13th, you’ll get a special discount!
Since moving back to NB, I’ve also become more prone to SAD (I do miss the Sask winter sunshine. It was like sparkling diamonds every time I went outside!) so I’ve been taking some preventative steps to help stave off the worst of it. I thought if these things were helping me, they might be of benefit to you as well. I also want to say that if you are feeling really down, depressed, anxious, or lonely to connect with your health care professional and get the support you need. A few things I’m doing that may resonate with you are:
I take 4000IU/day in the winter for a myriad of reasons. A big important one for this season is that studies show those with the highest concentrations of serum vitamin D had the best outcomes if they ended up contracting Covid.
I have been taking curcumin for years since, as someone with a history of PCOS, I’m prone to inflammation. I’ve also struggled with depression and research is showing that inflammation in the brain can be a causative factor in depression. A meta-analysis has shown that curcumin has “significant clinical efficacy in ameliorating depressive symptoms” and “significant anti-anxiety effects were also reported in 3 trials” with “no adverse events… reported in any of the trials.”
I take B-vitamins for a variety of reasons, but for today’s purpose it’s important to know that these little powerhouses are crucial for optimal brain function and mood balance. Long term supplementation with B-vitamins “may enhance and sustain antidepressant response and decrease the risk of relapse or onset of clinically significant depression.”
I know when I’m feeling rundown and unmotivated I’m not always eating the broadest selection of nutrients, so supplementing with B-vitamins gives me that extra little boost of support.
I’m sure we’ve all experienced the sensation of being in a crabby mood, getting outside for a walk or doing a work out and feeling like a whole new person afterwards.
Well, science is right there with us because studies are showing the link between exercise and lower rates of depression and anxiety. With gyms closed in a lot of places you may have to get a little more creative, but I’ve found a daily walk the simplest way to boost my mood.
I’ve written an entire article about why restorative yin is good for your brain and nervous system that you can check out right here. I will also be running another 6 week session in the New Year, so feel free to join us here!
These lamps are designed to mimic the natural sunshine we get during the longer days of the year and some research has shown that they can help alleviate symptoms of SAD.
Filling my House with Plants
I have been feeling a pull to learn how to care for house plants and to fill every available surface in my house with plants this season. I couldn’t find tons of research on the correlation of plants and depression, but I have read that being connected to nature helps modulate the immune system, which can play a key role in depression symptoms.
Plus, they’re pretty and they give me something to take care of when I’m stuck inside for long periods of time. My kitties also fill me with this joy and give me something other than myself to care for, but not everyone is able to adopt a little animal friend, so plants are a nice alternative!
Making my Space Beautiful
If I’m going to be stuck inside for the winter, I want my home to be a beautiful space I enjoy spending time in.
So if you’ve been following along you know I’ve been painting my house (most rooms a bright white or light blue to bring in as much light as possible), thrifting for cute home decor items, and finally hanging pictures that have been sitting on the floor for over two years since I bought my house… oops! The benefits are two-fold: the beautiful spaces make me happy and it gives me another winter project to work on.
Having someone to talk to who is outside of your daily life and who can help you objectively look at things that are going on around you is truly invaluable. There are some great online resources for those of us stuck at home, but a couple I’ve found are Talkspace and BetterHelp.
And if you are really struggling there is absolutely no shame in getting medication support from your doctor. So if you are really struggling, pick up the phone and make an appointment with your doctor today. A lot of these suggestions will work to support a medication protocol as well.
Whew, that ended up being a lot longer than I expected. This morning I had someone reach out to ask me to run the Love Your Healthy Self Nutrition Program again (they already signed up!) for support this winter season. So I hopped onto my calendar and set it up to start January 18th so you can start 2021 with the clarity and knowledge of what makes your body and mind feel their absolute best. We’ll be creating a community space for us to come together to establish physical, mental, and nutritional health habits. I’d love to have you join us!
As always, thank you for your support!
Stay well and take care of one another!