Choose to Lose the Winter Blues

We have been having a very harsh winter here in Pittsburgh! Bitter cold temperatures and frequent snow have hit us non-stop--as I'm sure it has been affecting other areas of the Northern Hemisphere. To our customers in Brazil and Australia, shhhhhh! (Just kidding, please keep sending in your photos so we can pretend we're there!) Knowing that we have only encountered one-third of winter thus far may trigger seasonal affective disorder in some. Maybe your dislike for winter is not that harsh, but you have experienced winter-related illnesses. Either way, I am providing a list of twelve remedies to kick the winter blues:

1. Embrace the Season
There are a lot of cool activities (...pun intended) to participate in during the winter! You can go ice-skating, sled-riding, snowboarding, skiing, or build an igloo! Okay, that's a bit ambitious, but building a snowman is still feasible fun at any age. If partaking in winter activities is not your scene, you can watch them on television! The Winter Olympics starts February 7th. If you're unfamiliar with the various sports of the Winter Olympics, you can find a list and description of them here. So turn on that tv, get cozy on the couch, and....
 
2. Cuddle
Believe it or not, there are health benefits to cuddling.  Just thinking about cuddling already makes me feel fuzzy! ..Hmm, I wonder if that's because the majority of my cuddling is done with stuffed animals..but that can be just as effective! Really, you don't have to have another person to snuggle up with to reap the benefits (though it's great if you do!) Cuddling amongst pillows or under a blanket (or snuggie) is a great way to....
 
3. Stay Warm
When you do go outside, please dress appropriately! Check the weather so you know what to expect. Don't forget the accessories too: hat, gloves/mittens, scarf, fuzzy socks, and boots! When in doubt, add the extra layer or two--especially when exercising. On the really cold days, I always rely on my Dona Jo Quattro Leggings. The Eclet Plus fabric that these leggings are made from is very soft and extremely thick. With three layers on the top, all I need on the bottom to go outside for a run are thick socks and these leggings. They aren't just great for running, you can wear these leggings for other....
 
4. Exercise
Exercising in itself stimulates chemicals in your brain that can put you in a better mood. Regular exercise will undoubtedly improve your physical health and appearance. As a result, you will gain confidence. Now is a great time to put in work at the gym--you still have several months before swimsuit season! In the winter, we tend to feel less energized, but exercise can actually give you more energy. But, if you do workout at a gym make sure that you....
 
5. Disinfect
The gym is a great place for germs to spread and thrive! But don't let that scare you away from getting a workout in. It is obvious etiquette to wipe down machines and equipment after you use it, but there is no harm in using the disinfecting wipes/spray before using it as well. It is not a bad idea to use hand sanitizer throughout your workout too. Also, avoid touching your face. And if you carry around your phone or ipod to listen to while working out, wipe that down afterwards. Lastly, make sure you wash your hands with soap and water for a good 30 seconds or more before you leave. You can't carry the germs out of the gym on your hands with you if you wash them away. And you will most likely use your hands after the workout to....
 
                                                                                                                     6. Eat Clean
It can be very easy to eat heavy comfort foods and over-indulge when it gets cold out. This can leave you feeling sluggish and low on energy. Foods that are rich in antioxidants are great to eat year-round, but especially great during the months when illness spreads more rapidly because they fight off free radicals in your body. Small red, red kidney, pinto and black beans are excellent sources of antioxidants. What better way to warm up than with a hearty bowl of chili or warm cup of soup? Berries and apples are easy, healthy snack foods that are also rich in antioxidants. And I can't forget to mention that dark chocolate contains polyphenols and flavonoids--organic compounds that work as antioxidants. Mmm.. a cup of dark chocolate hot cocoa is calling your name! Avoid drinking it before bed, because chocolate does contain a small amount of caffeine, and it's important to....
 
7. Get the Right Amount of Sleep
Not getting enough sleep will obviously leave you feeling tired, but getting too much sleep can do that same. It is easier in the winter when the days are not as long (the sun rises later and sets sooner) to sleep longer because our bodies want to be up when the sun is up. My body functions best when I go to bed early and get at least 7 hours of sleep. This is not always possible, but getting into a routine with your sleep is the best way to accomplish this. Another good thing to get into a routine with is to....
 
8. Stretch
Stretching in the morning can really help you jumpstart your day and assist in blood circulation.  Stretching before bed can actually assist in you falling asleep faster and sleeping well throughout the night. Before you stretch, strike up a match and...
 
                                                  9. Burn Candles
Scents have a very powerful way of affecting your mood. Not only do candles make the room smell amazing, the low-burning light from them can also contribute to a relaxed atmosphere. Pittsburgh's very-own Food Mood Girl, Lindsey Smith, is having a sale on her Bliss Meditation Candle  that comes with a Bliss Meditation Collection CD. Browse around Lindsey's website for a range of mood-boosting advice (not just food-related!) If candles aren't enough, maybe you will find relief from the winter blues with a....
 
10. HappyLight
If you haven't heard of HappyLight, don't worry because I just heard of it also! This "Energy Lamp" gives off Natural Spectrum® light from an energy efficient bulb. Verilux® makes a variety of sizes of their HappyLight, depending on the space you will putting it in. I found a fairly inexpensive compact one at Bed, Bath, and Beyond for under $40.  I haven't tried it, but it does seem very intriguing! I can say for sure one bright thing that I know will boost your mood is....
 
                                                                                        11. Colorful Clothes
New clothes are always a mood-booster (retail therapy, ladies!), but fall/winter fashion can often be made up of darker colors. This past season, I wore a lot of deep red, grey, navy blue, dark purple, and black. These colors feel cool and mysterious at the start of the cold season, but by the time the winter blues hit, we are often itching for the bright colors of spring fashion again! A great time to wear these colors without it feeling out of place is during your workout! Activewear is often season-less so your Dona Jo leggings can be worn year-round. Our bright prints will have you jumping (literally)! It's amazing how simply surrounding yourself with a vibrant visual can make you feel more energized. Don't want to wait until your Dona Jo gear arrives in the mail? Painting your nails a bright color is an instant pick-me-up! Grab some nail polish options, and get together with your friends for some....
 
12. Social Support
It's easy to curl up and hibernate in the winter time. When faced with the option to go out and walk around in the freezing cold in a dress and heels or get cozy next to the fire in sweatpants, I think it is obvious that the latter sounds more appealing than the first option. But you don't want to cut off your social support system. And I don't mean just staying in contact via your phone--make plans to physically meet up with your friends at a coffee shop or for a fun ski trip that will help you....(back to number one).

 

Let us know how you're remaining upbeat this winter! Tweet @donajofitwear on twitter and post on our Facebook page!

1 Comments

Posted on January 22, 2014 By Grace

I decided to re- visit this post after watching the recent weather forecast for the upcoming week ( first weekend in March 2014) cold and very snowy, again! Making my meal plan for next week and definitely planning for chili w beans to warm up after running outside in my donajo leggings! Love your blog

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