11 Nov Top Tips to Ensure You Are Prepared for Winter
As the days become shorter, we have less natural sunlight and as the nights draw in earlier, it is an ideal time to set yourself a new routine to invest in yourself to be your best for the Winter!
The research on Seasonal Affected Disorder which is related to the reduced exposure to sunlight during the shorter autumn and winter days, suggests that the lack of sunlight affects the way our brain’s hypothalamus works which results in:
- Overproduction of melatonin so that you feel more sleepy especially in the morning
- Less production of serotonin which lowers your mood, raises your appetite and makes you sleepy
- Affects your natural circadian rhythms (your internal body clock) – so that you do not feel ready to wake at the right time
By having this information, you can set SMART goals and start a new routine to ensure you can be your best version or you this Winter.
Go for a walk and have your Vitamin D boost!
Walking for at least 30 minutes outdoors is an ideal exercise to fit in your day, and you will gain your Vitamin D boost which will help you to beat the Winter Blues, and help your bone health. The best time to be outdoors at this time of the year is late morning and early afternoon. To ensure you give yourself time for a daily walk, mark the space in your diary. You could take your lunch break as a walk, or have a meeting with a colleague whilst walking. Building relationships and investing in your wellbeing are great multitaskers. Being outdoors in the sunlight will also boost your serotonin levels ensuring a good mood for the afternoon.
Maintain a healthy eating routine with soups, smoothies, and snacks!
November is that difficult month when the shops are filling with Christmas foods and gifts, and it is very easy to start indulging too early. This is a great month to start some healthy eating habits and turn down the indulgent snacks and carbohydrates which fill the winter cravings. By eating protein and slow releasing carbohydrates this will maintain your energy. You can gain extra Vitamin D from Fatty fish including salmon, trout, mackerel, and tuna. Eat extra eggs or low fat fortified cereal, dairy products, or drink orange juice. Say No to the early Christmas treats and enjoy nuts and fruits for snacks instead!
Invest in your learning and strengthen your dendrites!
Take advantage of the long dark nights by exploring the diverse world of online learning to achieve new academic goals and build your dendrites. You now have the opportunity to be a virtual student at hundreds of universities including Harvard, Stanford, Oxford, Melbourne, MIA, or Durham. You can take university level courses which can be credited by applying through Coursera and edX, and expand your learning horizons in many subjects including astrophysics, robotics, literature, geology, history, psychology, or languages.
Become a Volunteer and develop skills by giving service to others
Volunteering during the winter months can start a very positive routine for you to improve workplace and personal skills, boost your psychological wellbeing and also has physical benefits as we explored in a previous eshot on Volunteering. By being genuinely altruistic, you will feel better about yourself and improve your positive attitude towards your own goals and accomplishments. Contact TimeBank or Volunteering Matters to find out volunteering opportunities in your area so that you can build a positive altruistic routine within your week.
Invest in your Creativity or Musicality
Have you always regretted not learning the guitar or the saxophone? Have you looked at art pads and thought about drawing or painting like you did at school? There is nothing to stop you trying something new or rediscovering an old hobby you enjoyed. You can learn any skill via video on the internet or an app now and use those dark evenings in a constructive, creative, musical way to achieve your potential! You are in control of moving beyond your limitations and making your goals limitless by diversifying your skills and interests.
Keep a Gratitude Journal
People who keep a Gratitude Journal have been found to sleep better according to a 2011 study led by Nancy Digdon. Take fifteen minutes to write down reasons you feel happy, positive, and grateful for from your day as part of your bed routine. This enables you to end your day feeling calm and positive, and raises your self esteem.
By embracing the change of the season, the shorter days, longer nights, and making the most of the sunlight in the middle of the day you can adapt your routine to achieve your goals. Remember to set yourself SMART goals and write your affirmations to help you achieve success.
What goals are you setting yourself to achieve this Winter?