Thu 12 Jan 2023

How to embrace the darker days with positivity

WinterRunningTips.960


Disrupted sleep patterns, sun-deficient mornings and rocketing central heating bills are enough to keep us buried in our nests.  Although it might be gloomy outside, your outlook doesn’t have to be. Battle out the winter blues with these 4 anti-wallowing and productivity boosting tips that will have you waking up with a positive vibe every day.


Let there be light!


The sound of an alarm clock is the cruelest morning intruder, and even worse when our melatonin levels are on the rise. Melatonin is a natural hormone made by the pineal gland. When the sun goes down and darkness strikes, the pineal gland’s production of melatonin increases and makes us sleepy[1]. Melatonin levels in the blood stay elevated all through the night, until the light of the new day shines in. No, it’s not just your imagination – it’s tougher to get up on a dark wintery morning when melatonin’s effects are still in full swing.


If you’re experiencing the struggle, the Lumie Bodyclock has got your name on it. This soundless alarm clock gently lures anti-early birds out of bed with a gradually brightening 30-minute sunrise and sun-ray effect. By helping regulate sleep/wake cycles, it’s been proven to boost mood, energy and productivity for the rest of the day. Complement this with a SAD Lightbox (seasonal affective disorder) and nip the winter blues in the bud this season.


Eat sunshine foods


On the other end of the spectrum, we have Vitamin D – melatonin’s antithesis. Vitamin D temporarily pauses the production of melatonin [2], but with no sunshine the battle has already been lost. The simple trick is to find alternative Vitamin D sources. Whilst taking Vit D supplements is highly recommended (just don’t take them at night!), you’d be surprised just how much Vitamin D you can pack into your daily diet too.


Fatty fish, particularly salmon, dairy, eggs and beef liver will give you the Vit D boost of life. 


Write happy thoughts


Be happy. Think positively. Probably the last things you want to hear when you’re having a mid-winter meltdown. It’s tough staying upbeat during the winter season and it makes total sense, especially when we have a deficiency of Vitamin D, increased melatonin and all the other culprits hanging heavily on our backs. We have two choices – moan about it, or act upon it. We know which one we’re choosing…


The more we think negative thoughts – it’s cold, it’s dark, I hate winter – the stronger our brain’s neural pathways become[3].  Negative thoughts become ingrained, hence why it’s so easy to impulsively repeat them. It’s time for some serious rewiring. Ask yourself - What am I grateful for today? What do I love about winter? Grab a pen and get jotting. Plus, there’s something strangely therapeutic about emotionally releasing through writing. 


Get geared up


Getting in plenty of couch time, cocoa and carby bowls of pasta these days? You’d better step up that fitness game. It’s all about winterizing your workout garms. After all, there’s no such thing as bad-weather, only bad clothing. Don’t let the snow put you off – let it become your best friend, it’ll help you burn 15% more calories if you go running in it.


Firstly, let’s get geared up in all the right clobber. For those concerned about compromising form over function, nowadays there’s some very innovative practical activewear brands out there that look just as good as they function. Take for instance Casall - a Swedish designer activewear brand, focusing on creating harmony through conscious fabric choices, sophisticated form and functional performance. Their WEAR, TOOL and PRO collection stretches for both male and female audiences. Products like the men’s M-Tech Hood, are functional numbers that will have anybody fearlessly training like Rocky outside in the thick of the season.

 

You’ve got this.

 

[1] https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-topics/melatonin-and-sleep

[2] https://blog.bulletproof.com/bulletproof-your-sleep-with-vitamin-d/

[3] https://mastermindcontent.co.uk/neurosplasticity-is-it-time-to-change-your-mind/

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