Ahhhhhhh…the holiday decorations have been put away, the gifts have been put away, thank you cards have been written, and the house is clean again.  Most of you are probably back in your usual routines, or at least acclimating back into them.  January is the month of new beginnings…resolutions have been set, and many people genuinely stay or try to stay committed to them.

January can also be a tough month for folks.  The holidays can create a bit of a “high” for people, between the loved ones, the food, the gifts, ect.  But what goes up, must come down.  And often times this time of year can be difficult, as there is no distraction left from old man winter.  The house may seem a little too empty and things may seem a little too quiet.

oldmanwinter                                         He’s Baaa-aaack!  Old Man Winter

I myself am guilty of having the “winter blues,” and for any of you who have found yourself in a hole, ultimately we are the ones who have to take initiative to dig ourselves out.  I know what some of you (who may not know my crazy self well enough) are thinking…

”But you are a yoga teacher, don’t you teach others how to stay out of the hole?  Aren’t you always happy since you have all the tools and knowledge to stay away from that hole?”

My humbled answer is no.  I am human, and a teacher who only teaches what she knows and what she has gratefully learned from other teachers.  And in this human experience, it’s these moments like the winter blues that challenge me to go back to the books and teachings and meditate and pray to revisit the lessons learned.  So, like the blazing Texas sun is a reminder for Timarie, the grey overcast sky is a reminder of the lessons learned for me.

What this entry really is about are some helpful pointers to keep Old Man Winter at bay.  So here goes:

happyface

1-Move it!-I am assuming if you are reading this blog, you might already practice yoga.  I am referring to aerobic exercise, or cardio.  Movement that gets your heart rate up for an extended period of time is what is going help the brain actively release those “happy hormones,” or endorphins.  Shoot for 30 minutes a day most days of the week.

2-Bundle up-Even though, baby it’s cold outside.  Fresh air is really good for a healthy mind.  Maybe try a walk over your lunch break?  Or you and your honey could go for a 20-30 minute walk together when you get home from work.  One way or another, fresh air is proven to increase those happy hormones.

3-Real Human (NOT cyber) interaction-When one is in the hole, the last thing you want to do is be around people.  Often times it’s the lack of connection to others that makes us blue in the first place.  So give yourself a gentle kick in the pants to get involved in your community, whether it is a club, church, meetup, ect.  And if you don’t want to venture out, then invite your friends over!

4-D as in Dog-Vitamin D deficiency is a contributing factor to a dip in serotonin levels, aka happy hormones.  Have you had your Vitamin D levels screened?  If not, I encourage you to get the test done.  Best way to get Vitamin D is to soak up the sun, but considering the time of year a supplement may be necessary too.

5-Grub-After coming off the holiday season, we have a tendency to be somewhat addicted to carbs and simple sugars.  Ensure you are eating a colorful diet including lots of leafy greens, fruits and vegetables.  Your palate might not crave it right now, but your body still does!

6-Your indoor environment-There are a few changes you can make to your living arrangements to ensure your winter cave is conducive to a healthy mind.  Draw the blinds open and let the light in!  You can also add a little color therapy into your rooms by adding in some bright, cheerful colors.  Don’t forget to change the air filters and perhaps run an air purifier, too.  And lastly, perhaps reorganize your furniture to provide a more open feeling.

9-Sit Still!-Even if you can only sit and breathe for 5 minutes a day, take that time to oxygenate your body and mind!  Ever notice how happy children always seem to be?  This is not a coincidence!  They are pros at living in and embracing the present moment.

happyryder

Sources:

Bodyandhealth.com

Inhabitat.com

Acsm.org

Advertisements