This winter has proven more challenging than most of us expected. The lack of sunlight, extreme cold and extra stress may leave you feeling irritable, disconnected or listless. Below are some suggestions to improve your mood and energy:
1) Eat more fresh fruit and vegetables. The winter doldrums can send you into the kitchen looking for comfort food, including those high in sugar and fat. Eating food that is has a more direct connection to nature (not processed) provides more nutrients that help strengthen immunity as well as enhance brain functioning.
2) Honor your body’s need to move, with “honor” being the key word. Exercise helps regulate mood however the exercise you choose should match what is best for your body. Some days your body may best benefit from mindful stretching like most yoga practices. Other days your body may need to feel buoyant, moving through a swim or free and unencumbered going for a walk or run.
3) Do something that is out of your usual routine—especially one that shifts your perspective. This could mean trying something new that takes your full attention. One idea is to go onto a retreat, whether its for a morning, a day, or weekend. Some great places to consider are The Kripalu Center (kripalu.org) in the Berkshires or Aryaloka Buddhist Center in Newmarket, NH (aryaloka.org) or the Rolling Ridge Retreat Center (rollingridge.org) in North Andover, MA. We would be remiss to not include a mindful plug for our own offerings such as Serenity Sunday on March 6th, 9-11:30 am and Yoga Dance on Feb 25th, 6-7:30 pm.