>U Mom Knows Best: 11 Best Ways To Avoid Winter Blues and Weight Gain

Thursday, December 5, 2019

11 Best Ways To Avoid Winter Blues and Weight Gain

Winter makes me want to hibernate. 


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 I dread the start of winter and the colder weather. This, for me, can lead to some unhealthy habits which can make me not want to do the things that I need to do for a healthy body. My whole body just seems out of sync as many of the healthy habits that I have done in the summer and now so much harder for me to do in the cold winter. I find myself making excuses and tend to blame the cold weather for my lack of motivation to things that make my body feel good. I sure do miss the warm weather.



 Many of the healthy things that I felt so proud of doing are now put on the back burner and every day it seems like a struggle to convince myself that doing these things will make me feel good. It seems like the cold dreary days puts my body in slow motion and I get less done. The days seem shorter as it gets darker earlier in the day. I also feel like I have less energy and just want to stay in bed all day or wrapped in a blanket on the couch. The darker winter days also bring on seasonal depression. So it takes more of that pep talk to get things done. After allowing myself to get used to the change of season and realizing that winter is here to stay, I start practicing some things that help me to get back on the healthy track so I won't start packing on the winter pounds. Here are some healthy habits that I will be trying to follow this winter. Many of these healthy habits can also help lift your mood to make this time better for your mood and can help you survive the cold dreary winter. I also find when I am not depressed, I take better care of my body and I avoid the winter weight gain.



1. Start your morning with light
  I always find it hard to get out of bed in the winter. The house is cold and dark so I just want to stay in bed. To help my body get up in the morning, I use my programmable thermostat to have the heat come on thirty minutes before I want to get up. It is always easier to get out of bed when the house is not cold. I also have my husband open up the curtains when he wakes up. My husband wakes up an hour before me and I am glad for the open curtains that let the sunlight in. If you do not have someone to open the curtains then a Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock with Sunrise Simulation is what you need. Once you get out of bed, then turn on the lights so your room is brighter. Light just has a way of waking your body up.

2. Get moving
  In the winter I tend to put off my exercise until later in the day when it is warmer out. By doing this it seems like my brain does not wake up and that makes it hard for me to get things like writing done. I remember how great I felt in the summer when I went running first thing in the morning and how much easier it was to get work done. It can be hard for some people to exercise in the cold as the cold air makes it hard for them to breathe. I have asthma and my lungs just don't like the cold air. So if you have a gym membership, exercising in the morning can make you feel healthier and help you stick with healthy habits. If you can't get to the gym or workout outside, just 5 minutes of movement like dancing or marching can help your body feel amazing. I try to march in place while my Ninja blender is mixing up my protein smoothie. 



3. Drink plenty of water
  I like to start my day with a glass of water as it helps to wake up my body. That glass of water is a healthy habit that is good for your body. Then I fill up my favorite large 32-ounce water bottle with water and place that by my desk so I will remember to drink water. Most people do not drink enough water and should be drinking at least 64 ounces of water a day. Sometimes we feel tired or hungry when our body is dehydrated and needs water. I find that having a large bottle of water near me encourages me to drink more water and I try to drink one 32 ounce water bottle by the afternoon. Then I fill it back up and try to drink that water bottle by bedtime. If you have a hard time drinking water, try adding fresh fruit like lemon and strawberry slices to it for some delicious fruit flavor.



4. Eat a healthy breakfast that has protein and fiber
    I find that starting my day with a healthy breakfast not only fills me up but gives me energy. A healthy breakfast also starts my body on the healthy track and I make better food choices for the rest of the day. My usual healthy breakfast is a vegan protein smoothie that I make with a clean plant-based protein powder and a cup of fruit. I also add some superfoods to my protein smoothie for added nutrition and fiber benefits. I find that adding two tablespoons of chia seed to my smoothie helps me avoid constipation and get my potty business done before I head to work. If you are not a fan of chia seeds then try adding a prebiotic fiber supplement to your coffee or a glass of water to help your body to poop. When I travel I always take my Regular Girl fiber supplement with me since I don't have my usual smoothie for breakfast. I love that Regular Girl is tasteless and so easy to use as I hate the discomfort of being constipated. 

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5. Soak up the sun
  There is something about the sun that can make you feel good. I find that on dreary days, I just feel down and depressed. So make sure you get your daily dose of sunshine. Open up the blinds and curtains and let the sun into your house. This will not only help your mood but it will help heat up the house so you can save money on your heating bill. To get even more mood-lifting from the sun, try to get outside for 30 minutes. This is a great time for some healthy exercise so take a walk and let your body absorb some vitamin D from the sun. In the winter I also take a vitamin D supplement as the cold keeps me inside way too many days. If you live in an area that is dreary most of the winter, try using a light therapy lamp as these can stimulate the positive effects of the sun and brighten your mood. A light therapy lamp is a must for those who have seasonal depression.


6. Get plenty of sleep
 Our body needs sleep and I think that God designed them to get more in the winter. Think about long ago when there was no electricity or lamps. There are fewer sunlight hours in the winter than the summer so uses that as an excuse to go to bed early. When I don't get enough sleep, I course feel tired and my mind can't seem to function. Add this to an already depressed that it is winter body and it is bad news. So try to get at least 7 hours of sleep a night. I am trying to go to bed earlier so I can start my day once the sun comes out. That way I can take advantage of all the sunlight hours. If you have trouble falling asleep you need to check out these 12 tips to get a better night of sleep. Lately, I have been using CBD oil to help me fall asleep faster. I take this natural, non-habit forming supplement 10 minutes before I want to fall asleep and I don't have any trouble falling asleep. CBD oil is one of my favorite healthy supplements that also gives me awesome pain relief. I even give it to my kids. The other day my son had a headache so I gave him a CBD gummie and within 15 minutes, his head was feeling better.


7. Get daily exercise
 Exercise is so beneficial to your body for so many reasons. So stop thinking of exercise as a way to lose weight and stop making excuses. Exercise is great for a healthy heart and also for the mind. My new mindset for getting my exercise done first thing in the day is how exercise helps my brain. I remember from the past summer how after I exercised in the morning, I was able to accomplish so much more with work. So exercise is my brain thinker! Exercise can also do wonders for your mood and might be able to help with depression so it makes sense to me to do it first thing in the morning. I am challenging myself this month to wake up and head to the gym at least three days a week. On days that my husband has the car, I will exercise inside even if that means blasting the music and dancing.


 Exercise also helps your body be able to fight off those winter germs. If you are a stay at home parent check The Best Workout Tips For Stay At Home Moms. If you have a busy life then there are ways to sneak in some exercise when you are busy. I know you are thinking that you hate exercise and it is so boring but there are so many ways to exercise. It might be hard to wake up early to exercise and it is perfectly fine to exercise any time of day. I love it when I do get my butt out of bed for morning exercise as I got it done and it is out of my mind for the day.

8. Swap out the sugar in your coffee to save calories


 If you are looking to reduce your sugar intake or cut some calories from your diet, try a new organic natural 0 calorie sweetener. Stevita Naturals is a delicious stevia sweetener that does not have a bitter aftertaste. This indulgent sugar-free sweetener has no artificial ingredients and is made from natural non-gmo ingredients. Since this vegan, gluten-free sweetener is 4x sweeter than sugar, you will use less so a small package lasts a long time. The best part is it tastes like sugar. I even bake with this organic sweetener so my baked goods have way less sugar in them. My favorite Stevita product is their natural toffee liquid drops. I love that I can add the taste of toffee to my coffee without adding any dairy to my drink.

9. Try a new coffee



 A warm drink on a cold day always helps my mood. Holding a warm mug of coffee also makes me feel warmer on a cold day. So fill your coffee cup with a different coffee.

 THINKNOO’s Zen Keto is a premium coffee with MCT (medium-chain triglyceride – a healthy fat derived from coconut oil) powder and CBD in a ready-to-use sachet. Usually, these ingredients are found in oil form which is not a viable option for people on-the-go.  The two products involve no mixing, muss or fuss, and just deliver delicious and nutritious coffee in an instant that helps sustain energy and brain function throughout the day. For a non-CBD version, Fat Mocha is a perfect choice! This coffee has a creamy taste without any dairy and is vegan. With 0 grams of sugar, 2 grams of dietary fiber and just 1% of the daily recommended carb allowance, they are also keto-friendly.  THINKNOO is a smarter, healthier coffee


10. Change your hair color with a safer hair color


This photo was taken a couple months ago while the weather was still warm but it is amazing how a new look can make you feel when you are down in the blues. So make an appointment to get your hair done or even a facial can change your mood. An amazing mood lifter would be a day at a spa or even a soak in the hot tub at the gym.

 Winter is also a good time to change your hair color or freshen up your current color. I discovered healthier hair color and now I can feel better about coloring my hair. Those white hairs are starting to show up now that I am over 50 and this vegan-friendly hair color used naturally derived ingredients that are produced and sourced ethically to be better for the environment. Tints of Nature leaves out harsh ingredients, like synthetic nasties such as ammonia, parabens, resorcinol, and sulfates. This cruelty-free hair color still leaves your gorgeously healthy, with long-lasting, beautiful color! I like that this safer hair color does not irritate my scalp and since it has no harsh chemicals in it, it does not aggravate my asthma. If you feel the need to color your hair, using one with fewer chemicals is better for your health.



11. Play some music
 Music has the power to lift your mood and make you feel good. I know the power of music when I exercise. Certain songs on my iPod just motivate me to run faster. So turn on the music when you wake up or in the car as you drive to work. Find some positive upbeat songs when your mood is in the dumps or blues and it may just make you feel good. Fast energetic music might even help you get some exercise in. Even 5 minutes of exercise is good for your body. So crank up your favorite music and crank up your mood.

 I hope that these healthy tips can make the cold dreary winter a bit better and healthier. If your mood is not blue or depressed, you make be able to make healthier choices. That is return may be the thing to keep you from gaining extra pounds this winter. So try some of these tips and avoid the winter blues and weight gain.



 
Since writing this article about a week ago, I have been doing more of these tips and I have been doing better with my winter blues. The one thing that I have been getting better at is exercising first thing in the morning. I have been even getting outside for walks. I lay my clothes out the night before and get dressed in my workout clothes when I wake up. I then walk with my boys to their bus stop and continue with my walk. I have found that a morning walk has helped lift my spirits until night when it gets dark and then I go to not want to do anything.  On days that it was wet from the rain and an unexpected snowstorm, I went to the gym. Sure it helped that the sun was bright on those days. Yesterday it was raining out and it was dreary. I did force myself to go to the gym and that helped a bit with my sadness but I had trouble getting things done. So I allowed myself to be lazy for a couple of hours knowing that the sun will come out tomorrow. Winter depression is real. So be kind to yourself or someone who suffers and try some of these tips.

Do you suffer from the winter blues?



27 comments:

  1. Your breakfast tips are such a good reminder. I'm often tempted to grab a quick carb, but that's just not going to cut it in terms of steady energy and wholesome nutrition.

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  2. I'll keep these in mind. I hate the winter blues! I try to always go jogging in the mornings--otherwise I'll just want to sit wrapped up in a blanket. And I do get my hair colored thanks to the grays.

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  3. These are awesome tips friend! Definitely need to stay on the right track. Thanks so much for sharing this with all of us!

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  4. While the water heats up for my hot chocolate every morning, I do a 45 second plank then I walk back and forth across my house til the water is thoroughly heated. I like the idea of marching in place while your Ninja blender is going. These are all good tips.

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  5. These are some great tips. The light therapy lamp sounds like just what I need to get through the long dark evenings.

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  6. I hated winter so much that I moved from Maine to Virginia. It still gets a little cold, but not like it was when I was growing up. Your suggestions are great for any time of year, and all goals that I am trying to work toward one step at a time.

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  7. I have been very active lately and it is paying off in a sleeker body. I can't imagine not walking or exercising daily.

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  8. These are some really good tips. I've been doing well with staying active daily. I just need to get to eating healthier. I've always loved water, so that's no problem for me either. You've got such a great list here.

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  9. Those are all really great tips... most of which I need to take to heart. I hate winter too... I really wish I could hibernate.

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  10. I really needed to read this post. I always find it harder to get out of bed once it gets colder and the days are shorter, especially living here in Canada. These are all great tips and I will start getting my husband to open the curtains when he gets up in the morning. He's up 30 min-1 hr before I am. Our curtains are room darkening so it's like my own little cave with me cozy under my blankets.

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  11. These are really amazing tips! Thank you so much for sharing these!

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  12. Great advice. I think most people suffer from some form of the 'winter blues' and it's important that we all know what to do in order to avoid them taking over our lives.
    Thank you for sharing.

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  13. I always forget to drink water during the winter! Thanks for these great advice!

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  14. I always gain weight during winter. I will use your tips this year, maybe I won't gain any!

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  15. These are all great tips. Winter makes me feel so lazy to get up and move. All it makes me want to do is curl up in bed and sleep, in other words - hibernate! I will have to do my best to keep active and watch what I eat.

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  16. These are very helpful tips. I've never lived in a Winter state, but have spent time in Michigan with my daughter.

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    1. Lucky you. I grew up in Illinois and the weather was awful in the winter. I am glad that it is not as cold here in New Mexico

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  17. Tara, what I love about your blog posts is that they are easy to follow and very practical. No bs, just how it is. Thank you, GRL!

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  18. This is very helpful! I totally need to take some of these into consideration.

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  19. These are some really great tips. I do struggle a bit in the Winter. So I'll have to give some of these a try. Thank you for sharing!

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  20. I love starting my day light. The change in the weather can definitely affect the mood.

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  21. Getting enough exercise throughout the week is essential. It helps your body get used to the routine as well.

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