How to Thrive During Daylight Savings Time

How to Thrive during Daylight Savings Time

Good morning my friends!

Today is the first day of Daylight Savings Time. Some of you may be enjoying an extra hour of sleep. For others of you, especially those that are parents, maybe not so much! Today I want to share one simple step that you can take to make the most out of the time change this year.

I know that for many of us, this time of year can lead to seasonal depression, or the winter blues due to the lack of daylight hours.

It has been proven that spending just 10-15 minutes outside everyday can help counteract these effects.

There are many reasons why getting outdoors daily is beneficial to our health. The first is that it helps increase the levels of vitamin D in our bodies. Vitamin D is often called the “sunshine vitamin”, as our bodies naturally produce vitamin D when they are exposed to sunlight. Research has shown that vitamin D is particularly helpful for regulating mood and warding off depression.

Another reason why getting outside daily is helpful in improving our moods, is that it helps us get closer to nature. As human beings, we are part of the natural world. However, many times, particularly during the colder, darker months, we spend much of our time indoors surrounded by electronics and the worldly pleasures of the material world. While there is nothing wrong with this, the material world will never compare to the natural world. By getting outside everyday, our bodies become more in tune with nature which leads to feelings of optimal health and wellbeing, since being a part of nature is our natural state.

Getting out in nature everyday, feeling the sunshine on our skin, and breathing fresh air, can do wonders to uplift our mood all year long. Colder temperatures and darker days should not be an excuse to confine ourselves to the indoors, when nature has so much to offer!

Here are 25 different ways to spend some time outdoors each and every day:

  1. Go for a walk around your neighborhood
  2. Play outside with your kids
  3. Jump in a pile of leaves
  4. Sit outside and read
  5. Garden
  6. Go hiking
  7. Clean your yard and rake leaves
  8. Go sightseeing in your town
  9. Shop at an outdoor mall
  10. Go to the beach
  11. Take a trip to the zoo
  12. Go for a nature hut and look for leaves, acorns, etc.
  13. Create a nature mandala from your nature walk findings
  14. Sit on your porch and just breathe
  15. Play basketball
  16. Do outdoor yoga
  17. Ride a bike
  18. Go to an outdoor festival
  19. Go walking with a friend
  20. Take your child for a walk in a stroller
  21. Walk aimlessly with your children and let them lead the way
  22. Go to a park
  23. Play at a playground
  24. Rollerblade or rollerskate
  25. Swing on swings

In order to ward off the winter blues before they start, I’m joining a great group of ladies in a 5 day challenge to get outside everyday for a minimum of 10 minutes! The challenge is taking place right in our Facebook group, The Stress Free Society. Click here to join the group, get all the details, and join us in this fun challenge! We start tomorrow, Monday 11/6.

Wishing you a fun week ahead. Get outside, play, and be happy.

Be well,
Ambar

How to Beat the Winter Blues

How to Beat the Winter Blues

I’ve heard it said that February can be the most depressing month. The holidays are long gone, winter has settled in with full force, the days are short, and warmer weather seems to be light years away. Many people start to feel a little down this time of year, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Here are some simple tips to help you support yourself so that you can fully enjoy this time of year.

1) Get outside

One of the main reasons for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), is that during the winter months, we tend to get much less natural sunlight. Natural light is important because it helps keep the natural rhythms of our body in an optimal state. Make sure to take some time to get outside each and every day, even if it’s cold out. Bundling up and going for a quick daily walk can do wonders for your mood. Make sure to dress appropriately and take time to look around and notice the winter sights as you breathe in the brisk air.

If you spend a lot of time indoors at a desk, using a light box can be extremely helpful in replicating the effects of the sun. Light boxes have been known to increase happiness and promote an overall feeling of wellbeing.

 

Lastly, it may be helpful for you to take a Vitamin D supplement. Our bodies obtain Vitamin D naturally from being out in the sun, so taking a vitamin may help make up for any deficiencies you may experience from not getting enough sunlight in the winter months.

2) Go within

As much as it is important to make time to get outside each day, it is also important to honor the natural rhythm of winter by taking time to turn your focus inward. Winter is a time for quiet contemplation. Animals hibernate during this time of year in order to rest and prepare for the season ahead. The trees and plants start doing their deep work underground. We can take a cue from nature and do the same.

Journaling is a great way to connect with your intuition by doing some quiet reflection and introspection. Take some time to journal about the things that you need to let go of. What anger, resentment, or frustrations are you holding onto? Make a choice to let them go. Let go of old grudges. Decide to forgive someone that has hurt you, maybe even yourself. This time of year is the perfect time to have these difficult conversations with yourself. It is important to allow yourself the quiet space to make peace with your past and release all that is no longer serving you so that you can start to move forward as your best possible self.

After you have let go of the things that are weighing you down, it’s time to shift your focus to the future. Winter is the perfect time to start to focus on your desires and create a vision for what you most want from life. Set some goals and decide to go after your dreams. Get clear on your vision, create a game plan and decide to do something you’ve always wanted to do.

3) Warm yourself from the inside out

Since the temperatures outside are so cold during this time of year, it is important for us to learn to build heat from the inside out. Exercise is one of the best ways to do this. Find a form of movement that works best for you and make a commitment to move your body everyday. Take a hot yoga or vinyasa class, try a new pilates studio, start a weight training program, or begin training to run a 5k. Physical activity gets our inner fire burning and releases natural endorphins that make us feel good!

Another way to start to tend to your inner fire is by drinking and eating warm foods and drinks. This is the perfect time to experiment in the kitchen and try some nice, warm stews and soups, hot toddy cocktails, or soothing teas.

These three strategies may seem simple, but if you start to practice them consistently, you will notice a major difference in your mood. The key is to be gentle with yourself. It can be challenging to start new habits, so start slow. Pick the activity that seems the easiest for you to implement, and start there. Once you have made that a habit, you can start to incorporate the others little by little. Remind yourself that in order to feel better, you need to do the things that will help you make that shift. “If you do what you always did, then you’ll get what you always got.” Take good care of  yourself by deciding to do things differently this winter.

Wishing you a happy and warm week ahead.

Be well,
Ambar

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