Okay I know what you are thinking, more complaints about the weather…yada yada yada…we have heard it all before….”At least its sunny” haha.
My intention on bringing up the cold weather is not to state the obvious (its cold out!!!) but more to take a deeper look at how the weather can sometimes have an effect on both our physical and emotional bodies.
PHYSICALLY – yes we feel the chill! However, often we don’t realize the deeper and finer implications of the temperature. When the air is cold, we tend to not want to bring that chill into our lungs. So what happens? We start to hold our breath when we are outside. We may not even realize we are doing this. When we are not breathing many things start to happen; physically we are depriving the body of oxygen, and what can happen is a stress response; we are literally stressing our bodies out when the breath is absent. Remember that time when you found yourself outside in the cold and you literally did not feel good or felt panicky in some way? It may have been because you were holding your breath. Try and breathe your way through the winter – even if the air is cold, its better to have some air moving through our bodies then no air.
CIRCULATION TO EXTREMITIES – we need this! freezing fingers toes and ears are no good to us, so try to keep your hands head and feet properly insulated. Layer up! Also try to keep your spine tall so muscles don’t start to ache. We tend to want to curl up our bodies in protection mode when its cold out, shoulders drawing up to our ears, etc. Keep your body nice and toasty in warm outerwear so you can keep the body happy and tension free.
EMOTIONALLY – I don’t know about you, but for the last several weeks I have been extremely fatigued. It’s as if the weather has triggered some kind of sleep or hibernation response. It may happen every year and I am not remembering, but this year in particular it seems quite an effort to find energy. What helps? Getting enough sleep is key, but also finding that balance of exercise and proper diet is important too. When the temperatures drop, we tend to go from our cars to our homes with little fresh air and outdoor activity, and this can definitely result in a feeling of lethargy. Trying to get some time outside may be one solution – a very bundled up short walk. However, if its too cold, try to find an alternate way to move your body energetically to stave off that lethargic fatigued feeling. Maybe its getting to the gym, the yoga studio, or some other energizing activity. Maintain healthy eating so your body is fuelled up and ready for whatever comes its way.
One final Suggestion – get out there! Even if it feels like too much effort, head out! Keep doing what you do (movies, lunches, dinners out with friends, etc) – burying yourself in your house is NOT the answer. Spending time with people and going out can be not only energizing, but is also a great way to keep having fun through the winter blues!
Until next time, sending warm thoughts