How to Boost Your Energy and Avoid Winter Fatigue
It’s cold outside. It’s dark more often. We get sick more readily. And sometimes we just want to curl up in a blanket and sleep all day. That may be okay once in a while, but if your energy is flagging, winter fatigue is wearing you down, and you want some more pep in your snow-booted step, we’re here to help.
Why Am I So Tired?
The days are shorter during the winter, which means we spend more time in the dark. This can make our bodies produce more melatonin, which can in turn make us feel sleepier. We also spend less time in the sun, so our vitamin D levels may drop. Lower vitamin D can also add to that “I just want to nap all day” attitude.
And, of course, cold weather seems to trigger a serious comfort food craving for many of us. As soon as the temps drop below 60, I start making all the creamy, cheesy chowders I can stuff in my belly. Then pumpkin season hits and my nutrition goals take a back burner to all the sugary, carb-filled goodies I’m whipping up on my stove’s front burner. Poorer eating habits and an increase in the amount of carbs we eat can lead to more sugar crashes and less energy from nutrition-dense foods and the fresh veggies and fruits that are more available during warmer months.
Stick to a Bedtime Routine
One way to counteract what I lovingly call Winter Hibernation Syndrome is to be a stickler about your bedtime. Changing your bedtime dramatically on the weekend can affect your sleep all week long. Try to stay on schedule as often as you can.
You should also consider creating a bedtime routine that combines your sleep goals with your self-care goals. It doesn’t have to be complicated: shut your screens down 20 minutes before bedtime, apply some lavender lotion, don your fuzzy socks, then read a book to let your mind and body wind down. (No true crime books allowed.)
Get Some SunshineThis can be as simple as opening your blinds every morning. Check your email and sip your coffee as you curl up in a sunny spot on your couch. For extra vitamin D, bundle up and go outside for a walk. The fresh air and sunshine on your face will help fight winter fatigue and perk you up while lifting your energy and your spirits.
Fight Winter Fatigue with Fitness
Research shows exercise can boost your energy levels. You don’t have to become a hardcore Cross Fit junkie to reap the energy-boosting benefits of exercise. Take your dog for a hike. Make it a goal to walk for 20 minutes every day. Join a yoga class at your local rec center (even if it has to be a virtual class). Or get adventurous and try your hand at cross country skiing or snowshoeing.
Exercise can boost your energy and your health. According to the CDC, “Regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health.” It can help reduce mild anxiety, keep your thinking and reasoning skills sharp, strengthen bones and muscles, and reduce your risk for diseases like type 2 diabetes.
Improve Your Nutrition
It’s time for some truth serum: I love working out, I have accepted the fact that I have a serious murder podcast addiction and that I have to shut it down well before 10 pm or I’ll never fall asleep, and I open my blinds every single morning and sit in the sunshine to start my day. But improving my nutrition? That. Is. So. Hard. However – and it hurts me to even type this out – it’s definitely one of the most effective ways to combat winter fatigue.
If you’re like me and this is a difficult change for you, start small. Add an extra serving of veggies to your lunch. Try replacing part of the half and half in your chowder recipe with evaporated milk. Replace the white noodles in your homemade chicken noodle soup with whole grain noodles, and swap half the potatoes for sweet potatoes. Cut back on sugar where you can. Choose complex carbs (brown rice, quinoa, whole grain pasta), snack on veggies and fruits, and drink plenty of water. These little changes can have a big impact on how you feel this winter.
Solidify Your Supplements
If your nutrition needs a little help, consider a supplement. A trustworthy multivitamin can help make up some of the difference when your nutrition isn’t dialed in as well as you’d like. Our Women’s Multi-Vitamin Pack contains vital daily nutrients for whole-body wellness. It comes in a convenient packet, so you don’t have to keep track of which supplements you’ve taken for the day. It includes vitamin D, which is crucial during the winter. Plus, it contains blends for cardiovascular health, hormone support, and even a healthy aging blend designed with ingredients specifically for skin health.*
If you have real concerns about your energy levels, definitely talk to your doctor. It’s also a good idea to check in with your doc before beginning a new exercise plan or adding supplements to your regimen. It’s worth the extra work to help yourself feel at your energetic best all year long!