I spent most of childhood dreading winter with the same dread a cat has for water. If anyone knows anything about cats and water, they will understand that a cat will do everything in its power not to get wet. As a child, I would do everything possible not to live winter in Quebec. It came to the point that my parents had to force me out of my bedroom, put my winter suit on, and push me outdoors so that I would leave the house and join the other kids in the snow. After ten minutes I usually sneaked right back into the warmth of my parent’s house.
Today as I face another winter, I have become somewhat better at escaping the cold and the lack of sunlight. It has taken a few years for me to create my winter therapy, but here it is for those interested.
1) Fresh orange juice every morning. Sounds cheesy, but works miracles to kill early morning winter blues. Rather than down a coffee which will leave you tired late afternoon, I like to make a fresh orange juice that gives me a lot of that vitamin C needed to boost my immune system. My secret? I mix it with Kangen water to make it six times more efficient!
2) Light therapy. They cost anything from 100-500$, but when you plug those light therapy bulbs in front of your face, something amazing happens. During the winter days, melatonin levels are increased, creating more fatigue and sluggishness. Light therapy will balance out our melatonin levels, relieving those winter blues quicker. After a 30 minute morning session, I feel ready to tackle any outdoor event, even shoveling.
3) Long walks. Most people tend to hibernate during the winter, thus forcing their bodies to stagnant and accumulate fat. Taking long walks outside will oxygenate our brains and activate blood circulation, helping our bodies stay alert and in shape during the cold season. I like to take long winter walks in the morning, before work, that way I have a more productive day afterwards.
4) Dive into old hobbies. During the warmer days of the year, we tend more to divert ourselves with a social life and an outdoor life. Why not take the time during the colder days to dive back into our old hobbies, like painting, drawing, yoga classes, or a reading club? It’s the perfect opportunity to stimulate our creative hemispheres all the while allowing ourselves to step out of our caves into a social environment.
After my fresh orange juice, 30 minutes of light therapy, and long walk, I finally feel like I can survive the long winter day ahead of me, all the while maintaining a healthy mind, body, and spirit. When my friends see me, they blink and wonder what magic bubble I am spending winter in… and I smile.