Welcome to winter
The days are shorter, and frequently cold and wet as well. For most of us, the weather can also impact our body, mind and spirit.
Naturopaths prefer to work in harmony with nature, rather than against it. In winter that means, eating warmer foods, finding ways to move our bodies more and exercise independent of the weather, boosting our vitamin D levels and being conscious of our interior life.
Vitamin D is a super-hormone (though we tend to think of it as a vitamin) that many different body systems rely on to function well. This nutrient impacts our mood, cancer risks, immune system, sleep and so much more.
But did you know you need your full legs and arms exposed to the winter sun for about 25 to 40 minutes a day, for your body to make enough Vitamin D?
For most of us, who may barely show our face and hands fleetingly during the day, we just can’t make enough Vitamin D to support our immune system through the cold and flu season. Understanding how much we need is only part of the solution, as many people taking supplements unknowingly are not absorbing and fully utilising their dose.
The 21 – 22 June officially marks the shortest day of the year in the Southern Hemisphere. Being also the longest night, it’s a timely opportunity to reflect on the year that has been and let go of what no longer serves us.
Warming winter foods
It’s time to skimp on the salads and eat more cooked foods. Our body craves slow release carbohydrates at this time of year, so get cooking your grains – porridge, brown rice, barley and beans.
Need some inspiration in the kitchen?
Don’t forget to give my latest recipe for colcannon a go as well!
Get your Hygge on
The Danes are experts at surviving long, dark winters. They embrace it with their own unique ‘cosiness’. Hygge is about embracing the season and feasting the senses. Give it a go.
Lack of light, moving less, ruminating during the long nights and a lack of Vitamin D can all trigger the blues. On top of the usual life challenges, these extra biological stresses can make many of us more likely to have episodes of mild depression or just feel flat.
Need some help with the blues?
Try just one of these 10 tips to lift your mood.
Watch this video on preventing winter blues.
Need more help?
Book an initial naturopathy consultation for an individualised health plan to help you over your winter funk. Consults can be conducted around the globe by FaceTime or Skype.
Mentoring is also available for naturopaths and health practitioners struggling with a winter slump