I’m watching the snow fall. I love that my desk is next to the window overlooking my busy street. Feeling like Mrs. Cravitz, my window let’s me keep the pulse of what’s going on outside. And right now, it’s snowing softly and beautifully, instilling a hush to the usual din of traffic and kids walking to and from school.
Others don’t think it’s so pretty. I remember something my private yoga client Jill told me yesterday. January depresses her. “The days are too short,” she pines, “and I have no energy for anything. Plus, I’m eating more cookies and gaining weight.”
In the fall, Jill met her stretches excitedly every day at home. Yet like many other clients, despair reverberates in her comment, “I LOVE the feeling of yoga, so why can’t I do it on my own now?”
Winter blues is why…….the long, dark nights with minimal and often dull daylight are meant to slow us down as we sup upon warm, moist and oily foods likes hearty stews and homemade breads slathered with oozing butter, pizza, meats and cheeses. Winter is supposed to lead us to a quiet and peaceful inner landscape. But, like Jill, we’re used to being on the go, exercising more, playing outside and our little brain cells are rebelling against the slow and heavy dark.
I can’t make the snow go away, or the days longer and brighter, but if you’re prone to the winter blues, there are a few things you can do brighten your outlook and add zing to your winter days.
- Go to bed at the same time every night. Dark nights are cozy for sleeping. Get 8 hours at a minimum.
- Awaken to a splash of cool water on your eyes, scrape your tongue to remove the bacteria that have gathered there overnight, and boil water for spice tea. Enjoy 32 oz every morning before stimulants like coffee or caffeinated tea.
- Eat lighter fare – even though winter meals are typically heavier, once a day have fresh fruit, salads or raw veggies, or cold cereal. Avoid dairy – it creates dampness in the body that weighs you down like road-blackened slush.
- Turn on all the lights in a room and de-clutter. That’s right, toss those piles of magazines and newspapers, To Do lists and bills off the table top and into the recycling bin (pay the bills first). Donate unused coats, scarves and mittens. Minimize decorations and doo-dads and thingamabobs and doo-hickeys and whatchamacallits. The cleaner space will fill you with spaciousness. Keep the lights on!
- Exercise every day. Do yoga (www.yogaglo.com), walk outside (layer up), roll back the rug and pop in a bootcamp DVD, join a gym and pump up the volume in a Body Jam class. Just do it!
- Wear brightly colored clothing – red, yellow, orange, periwinkle blue, pistachio green. And never wear black, grey or dark brown in the winter – ever!
Let me know how it goes!