It’s January, it’s cold, the sun goes down early, and we’re in another wave of the Covid-19 Pandemic. If you’re anything like the rest of New Yorkers, you’re resilient, but likely feeling the effects of isolating, quarantining, and the frigid weather we’ve been having the last few days. MaxWell Medical (Evolve Medical) is here to give you all the pointers you’ll need to get you through this next wave of the pandemic AND beat the winter blues.
Regardless of the pandemic, the winter months cause people to cut back on activity and stay indoors more. The winter blues, and more severely Seasonal Affective Disorder, are affecting up to 10 million Americans. So what can we do to beat the blues? Read on to see the top five tips!
- Get up and move! Exercise is one of the most important forms of mood boosters. You don’t need to have equipment or a gym membership to engage in physical activity. Yoga, walking, and body weight exercises require no equipment to get your body moving and can all be done without leaving your home!. If it’s too cold to walk outside, make laps around your house or go up and down the stairs several times. If you do have access to weights at home, try out weight training exercises that focus on good posture!
- You are what you eat! Nutrition is critical at keeping your body and brain functioning at peak performance. Aim to avoid high sugar snacks that cause a sugar crush. Instead, swap out cookies and cakes with frozen grapes, dark chocolate, dried fruits, and nuts. If you’re on the go, pack healthy portable snacks like in season oranges, protein bars, or fruit leather. My favorite protein bar is the Perfect Bar. It’s a refrigerated bar without any preservatives and it feels like such a treat!
- Make sure you’re taking your Vitamin D3. Vitamin D is one of those special vitamins that we get from the sun, but during the winter months we are short on sun and big on covering up our skin. This study from the The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine shows a correlation between Vitamin D levels and the benefits it has on the body from reducing osteoporosis risk to reduced inflammation in the body.
- Sleep, sleep, sleep! Good sleep hygiene is critical for a happy mind and healthy body. Make sure you’re going to bed around the same time most nights. Put your phone and laptop away at least 30 minutes to an hour before bed time. Have a warm bath, get into comfy pajamas, and do a few minutes of deep breathing to get your body ready for the healing powers of sleep. Aim to get between 7-8 hours of rest every night. This study from the University of Ontario shows that people who slept more or less than 7-8 hours had overall cognitive impairments.
Wellness and Self-Care. Self-care has been the new buzz word in the last couple of years, but it’s been around for a long time. Meditation, relaxation techniques, and massage have benefited humans for decades upon decades. We’d recommend finding a mantra, carving out some quiet time for yourself, and intentionally focusing inward. These activities will help to ease the stresses of the day, the stresses of the pandemic, and shake off any negativity you may be feeling. It’s a quick and simple way to beat the winter blues!