Winter is in full swing. And, if the dreary clouds and chilly winds have left you feeling as gloomy as the sky, you’re not alone. Many people feel extra tired and less energetic as the cold sets in and the days grow shorter. However, there are ways you can combat fatigue and reinvigorate your daily routine, even in the middle of winter.
While most people make enough vitamin D from their leftover summer supply, 14% to 18% of Americans don’t produce or receive enough vitamin D during the winter months. And, although it may be a bit chilly outside, the best way to replenish your vitamin D supply is to bundle up and get out there. Just 10 minutes of sunlight on your face and arms can be enough to soak up the benefits.
However, if it’s particularly chilly or quite cloudy during the day, you can still open your blinds and let what little light there is in. This will both heat your home and give you an energy boost and even help your muscles work more efficiently.
After soaking up some vitamin D, give those muscles a workout by rolling out your mat and practicing some yoga. Even the least energetic person can benefit from a few good warrior twos and sun salutations. Like any other form of exercise, yoga will get your blood pumping, stretch out your limbs and help you focus on your breath. Just 20 to 30 minutes each day can improve your sleep, relieve stress and boost your energy.
Daily exercise can also boost your heart health which, in turn, allows you to have more endurance to get through your day. And, when you’re done with work or taking care of the kids, you’ll still have some energy left over to take care of yourself.
Staying hydrated is essential to optimal health year-round. But, in the winter drinking, enough water is especially important to keep your immune system working and your energy levels high. Just a 1% to 3% decrease in fluids can negatively affect your mood and energy levels. So, if you haven’t drunk eight glasses of water yet today, here’s your reminder!
Furthermore, try to avoid binge drinking alcohol as this can worsen your mood and leave you feeling exhausted the morning after. Replace alcoholic beverages with water, tea and coffee during the winter to both keep warm and get an energy boost. Choose caffeinated versions of your favorite beverage. A cup or two a day should be enough to energize you throughout the day without keeping you awake at night.
Another excellent way to increase your energy levels is to revisit your New Year’s resolutions. Maybe you committed to exercising more or eating healthier in 2020. But, by now, you may have slipped up and forgotten all about your resolutions. Now is the perfect time to start back up again. Creating a goal for yourself and working to reach that goal will give you a sense of purpose, as being shut up inside your home all winter can certainly affect motivation and morale.
So, if you committed to doing something this year, decide to actually do it. Formulate a plan and set goals for yourself that you might reach over the next few weeks. The simple act of working towards these goals can give you an energy boost as you work towards success.
Of course, your body will need a little TLC with all the exercise and hard work you’re committing yourself to this winter. So be sure to take plenty of time to rest and relax. This might include taking a bubble bath, indulging in a cookie or two and reading a good book. But, whatever you do, make sure you can relax and completely let your mind and body recuperate.
Getting enough sleep each night can help you get enough rest and leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated the following day. However, it’s important to remember it’s not necessarily how much you sleep, but how well you sleep. To get the best rest, turn of electronics an hour before bed, create a relaxing nighttime routine and go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day. This will help regulate your body’s circadian rhythm and sleep cycle so that you wake up feeling more rested.
Everything’s more fun with a friend! Find a natural high-energy buddy or ask your spouse or best friend to join you in creating a more energetic routine. Workout or go on walks together to help boost your mood and energy levels. Plus, doing these things together will make it much easier to find the motivation to get outside or crawl onto your yoga mat or achieve your goals. And getting outside and simply being in a social environment can invigorate you as well.
keep a mental list of these energy buddies and reach out to them whenever you’re feeling lethargic or just downright exhausted. And, even if they can’t meet for coffee or a yoga class, simply connecting with another human can be enough to leave you feeling refreshed and ready to take on whatever winter sends your way.