The days are getting shorter and the weather is getting colder. For many of us, these changes kill our motivation, resulting in fatigue, depression, and weight gain. It’s not just in your head. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is an actual medical diagnosis. It affects as many as three million Americans. SAD is classified by feelings of sadness, depression and low energy beginning in the fall and continuing through the winter months.
In addition to darker, colder days, the holiday season usually brings a lot of stress, tempting food, and beverages. The combination of these things can cause your body to store calories and gain weight quickly. But if you want to avoid these problems, then there are some easy tips we recommend for our members each year. Here are some suggestions on how to stay balanced and not let this time of year drain your energy and motivation.
Make exercise part of your lifestyle
Who doesn’t feel better after a good workout? When it comes to exercising, find something you enjoy. The variety of available exercise programs are endless. Whether you like to work out at home, at the gym, during group fitness classes, or if you’re brave enough to battle the winter weather and get your sweat on outside, you have to find something that you enjoy and works for you. Lifestyle is an important factor when looking for exercise ideas during the colder months of the year. Don’t force yourself to bundle up and run outside if you hate dealing with the extra layers and chapped lips. For our members, we recommend creating a new routine that helps them stay motivated in spite of the sunshine or lack thereof.
Take your supplements
When life gets busy, we tend to waiver from our healthy routines. This may include getting off routine with medications and supplements. Try setting an alarm for the same time every day to ensure you remember your new routine. The last thing anyone needs during the stress of the holidays is a weakened immune system, a recurrence of hormone-related symptoms and fatigue. Our members at 25 Again get access to the best supplements available through our partnership with the New Vitalis Pharmacy. Make sure to always check the effectiveness of your supplements before buying.
You can avoid the inevitable stress of procrastination by planning. Making to-do lists for holiday dinners and parties will help you organize your thoughts and make shopping less hectic. Plan your day to include your yoga class, gym session, or some alone time to ensure you have healthy moments in between busy parts of your day or week. But in addition to planning your exercise, it might also help to map out your meals. If you know you are going to be heading to an office party or holiday event later in the week, try to prepare by eating lighter meals early on. Rather than reaching for empty calorie snacks, prepare ahead of time by packing more fruits and vegetables into your bag.
Don’t beat yourself up
So, you ate the cake, drank a bit too much and skipped your workout. It doesn’t have to be the beginning of the end. Put the past behind you and try harder the next day. One holiday party will not ruin all the progress you have made. Remember, YOU are in control of your thoughts and actions. You can make a conscious decision to make healthy choices in each present moment. But, it is very important to stay positive. If you start to give up on yourself and your ability to strive for health goals, it becomes all too easy to start letting them slide further away.
Even though it is getting colder and darker, remember to make time for your health and wellness. You are your best self for your family and friends when you look and feel your best. Push through the winter months by sticking with know what works for you and doing your best. If you need help with your new routine, diet, or plan for this time of year, simply reach out and ask one of our providers for recommendations.