Beat Winter Blues With These 3 Tips

hormones Dec 01, 2015

It’s that time of year again: the nights are longer, the weather has a bite, and the leaves are absent from their trees.

“The best thing about winter is when it’s over,” is what I heard a woman say on the radio today. Many of us have a harder time with this time of year. Thanksgiving is over and instead of resting before the next upcoming holidays, we need to maintain a productive work flow at our careers, shop for presents, plan holiday meals, budget our finances, and plan for travels. Overwhelming right? No wonder we feel this season is challenging. As we juggle our schedules in wintry weather conditions, stress levels can increase and our immune systems may be jeopardized.

This winter, prepare yourself with these three tools to harmonize with the seasonal changes and keep your immune system strong, your body warm and relaxed, and your mood upbeat.

1. Vitamin D.

Current studies show that 42% of Americans have low Vitamin D levels. Majority of us work indoors and don’t spend long periods of time outdoors like our ancestors. But what about the fortified Vitamin D the Dairy Industry adds to milk? This does not provide therapeutic levels and cannot provide adequate D3. Vitamin D has many functions that affect women; it’s an essential fertility hormone and it boosts progesterone levels in the body. D3 helps regulate your blood sugar, improves your mood and sense of happiness, as well as boosts energy levels so you don’t feel lethargic. Normal Vitamin D levels are between 30-80ng/mL.

When I saw my blood test results, my Vitamin D was a whopping low level of 17! No wonder I was feeling so off. I began taking a liquid D3 supplement with 5,000 IU’s and took it twice a day, and my levels raised to 30 (normal baseline). I can’t tell you how much better I felt from doing this! I had been feeling very lethargic and emotional. The third day of taking the D3, I woke up and it was as if a veil was lifted and suddenly I felt happy, stimulated and energized. My body’s low progesterone normalized and the days of brown stains occurring before my period decreased and almost went away completely. If you are experiencing any low vitamin D level symptoms, I highly encourage you to check your levels by getting blood work done.

How can D levels be improved?

  • Take a Vitamin D3 supplement. I am currently using a liquid supplement with 5,000 IUs and I’m taking a double dose until I get my D levels up higher. Different doctors will tell you different recommended doses. A functional medicine or naturopathic doctor will usually tell you to take higher amounts than a medical doctor. For me, the higher dose is really helping.
  • Enjoy winter walks. It may be more difficult to get Vitamin D from the sun when we are all bundled up, but we can still do our best to get our 15 minutes of sunshine on our faces.
  • Lounge in a sunny window. I learned this tip from my cat Milo. The warmth of the sun particularly feels good in a colder house.
  • Take a vacation! Good idea, huh? Head somewhere warm and sunny!

2. Rest and Reflection.

Our beautiful Earth has shed her leaves and now exposes her barren branches. When we harmonize with the rhythmic seasonal shifts that Mother Gaia brings, we can here the whispers of the lessons she provides in each season. Winter is a quiet time; the days are shorter and the nights are longer. It is a time for deep rest and reflection. When we continue to move at the quickened pace we moved in the summer months, we fall out of rhythm with the earth. Our immune system can become weakened and more susceptible to catching colds, as the cold air and winter storms cause stress on our bodies. When we allow ourselves to take advantage of these shorter days by resting and sleeping more, we are honoring the earth’s shifts and building our energy reserves so we may carry out our goals in the warmer months.

Ideas for Rest:

  • Start reading a new book and curl up by the fire. Or read longer stories in bed with your children. Turn your computer off earlier in the evening. This can help your body attune your circadian rhythm, because the glow of the computer confuses our bodies with night and day.
  • Meditation. There are many forms of meditation. The easiest one I find is simply connecting with our breath. When we allow our breathing to relax into deeper and longer breaths, we bring more oxygen to the brain and internal organs. Our parasympathetic nervous system is stimulated and this causes deeper relaxation. As women, we have a lot of powerful intuitive messages that come from our womb space. Sitting in silence with our hand over our womb space and breathing in and out with our energy focused there, can help still the mind chatter and invite the communication from our inner spirit.
  • Take a warm bath with Epsom salt. Light candles, play soft music, and allow yourself to be pampered. Moisture your skin with healthy oils such as coconut oil.
  • Sleep! Take advantage of this seasonal darkness by resting when Mother Earth rests.

3. Warming and Immune Boosting Foods.

Immune boosting foods are necessary in the winter. Fresh fruits and vegetables will provide Vitamin C. Add superfoods into your diet like goji berries to increase the nutrient density of your meals. Eat spicy foods (they increase the libido  ) and slow cooked soups to keep your body warm and relaxed. Eat high mineral rich foods such as sea veggies in miso soup or in sushi. Sip warming tea throughout the day. It is important to stay hydrated during this time of year and it is easy to forget since the cold makes it harder to tell when we are perspiring.

My favorite winter foods:

Moon Blessings & Hormone Health!



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