Raise your spirit this Winter!
In the Southern Hemisphere, the arrival of the Winter Solstice (June 21) marks shorter days and reduced sunlight. Sunlight assists the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that contributes to our sense of wellbeing and happiness. Imagine a glorious day on the beach. Imagine now waking in the dark, rushing to work only to leave the office at the end of the day, again in the dark. These seasonal changes can affect our mood.
Altered moods and emotions occur at different stages of life and for many reasons – significant events, relationships, our environment are contributors. These external stimuli combined with our existing genetics, body composition and nutritional intake create different chemical and hormonal reactions.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine winter is related to the water (yin) element and its associated organs are the Kidneys and Bladder. These organs are susceptible to the cold and nourishing their energy is important at this time. Read our Kidney nourishing tips here.
The elemental balance of water is fire (yang) – represented by the Heart. When core Kidney energy is depleted, emotional imbalances of the Heart can occur. Correcting the flow between these yin yang energies ensures emotional stability and physical vitality.
Follow the Sun – Vitamin D
During an office bound week, schedule lunch breaks on a sheltered patch of grass that catches some rays.
On days off, plan to connect with your garden, walk the animals, explore the neighbourhood, exercise during times you will most likely feel the warmth of our closest star.
Eat to nourish
High quality proteins rich in omega-3 fats are potent natural anti-depressant. And as they provide satiety, you are less likely to succumb to emotional eating. Reduce sugar intake (see first point!). While you may feel a surge for an hour or two, refined sugars ultimately create a crash cascade as they ‘dampen’ the body and mental clarity. Supplements & Herbs – Vitamin B6 & B12, Zinc, Vitamin C, Folic Acid, 5-HTP (tryptophan, an amino acid converted into 5-Hydroxy Tryptophan, which converts into serotonin) are stars at balancing the central nervous system. Chinese herbal formulas are available and can be tailored to your body’s requirements.
When feeling overwhelmed it can be difficult to break through the fog to see light. Share your experience! Know you are not alone, confide in a trusted friend or family member.
Speak to a health practitioner for support – Our life coaching partners at Koru Living can help de-stress life changes and challenges, while the physical therapies of acupuncture and qi gong restore the body's balance and calms the mind.
Image: Mount Machhapuchchhre (Fish Tail), Nepal 2014. Sun rise.