Let’s give old man winter a run for his money this year, shall we? I’m not talking about ‘hustling through it’, I’m talking about outsmarting winter. Like, working with the seasonal change to enjoy the day regardless of the shortened daylight and cool temps (which often make me want to hibernate).
To add to the challenge, many people are in a state of exhaustion even in the summer. Like this popular little scenario about life today; We make plans. Talk somewhat excitedly about said plans. Then we breathe a huge-a** silent prayer of relief when said plans are cancelled. Like sweet-mother-above-I-don’t-have-to-go-and-can-stay-in-my-sweatpants kind of relief. Relief because there’s one less thing ‘to do’ in the day. Sound familiar?
So with all that going on, how the bananas do you stay energized during the winter months? You become self-aware. You prepare. You adapt.
One of the biggest lessons from burnout (adrenal fatigue/insufficiency) is how the H-E-double hockey sticks to manage your energy and mood when stressed, no matter the season. Here are some of my lifesavers for getting through the winter without giving in to the desire to hibernate like our furry forest friends:
All the abundance: The first thing is nutrition, but, maybe not in the way you’re thinking. I’m not talking about dieting or restriction! Both of which personally increases perceived stress and makes me want to binge like a champ (great example of an unhealthy coping mechanism). What I’m talking about here is abundance. An abundance of nutrients so that the body has the best fuel to create much needed energy. If you make nutrient dense meals the priority, energy depriving food habits (sugar, coffee, processed) will naturally take a second seat.
Mindset Tip: Make morning nutrition the priority by taking Pranin Organic Purefood A to Z, Purefood B, and Purefood C. This winning trio has been an integral part of my treatment plan while healing from adrenal fatigue (especially Purefood B with its B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, and B12)! The University of Maryland Medical Center gives this rundown of B vitamins:
“All B vitamins help the body convert food (carbohydrates) into fuel (glucose), which is used to produce energy. These B vitamins, often referred to as B complex vitamins, also help the body use fats and protein. B complex vitamins are needed for healthy skin, hair, eyes, and liver. They also help the nervous system function properly.”1 In short, B vitamins help us stay energized!
Smoothies are my ‘go to’ for rushed mornings and I make sure to pack them with all the goodness (fruits, veg, nuts, protein) and powerhouse vitamins (the PureFood Trio).
Space is key: It is incredible how much our environments affect our mood and energy levels. It’s the reasoning behind restaurants embracing the red/orange/yellow colour schemes and spas often opting for neutrals or blue tones. The key here is to be self-aware enough to recognize what kind of environments drag you down, and which perk you up! This is especially important during the winter months when temperatures are cooler and daylight times are shorter.
Mitigate the risk of winter blues by giving consideration to lighting (warm, blue, natural), sounds (different kinds of music or a busy coffee shop), aromatherapy (peppermint, eucalyptus, lemon, grapefruit).
Example: My home has bright LED lighting in the living areas and I usually open windows to bring in fresh air. Even if the winter, I’ll ‘air out’ the house from time to time by opening the windows, turning on the vent fans, and allowing the fresh air to circulate. If it’s a low energy morning, a cooler shower and trip to the local coffee shop for a tea is often enough of a change to get through the rest of the day productively.
Mindset Tip: I’ve always considered September to be more of a “fresh new start” than New Years. It is a great time to look ahead at what can be achieved in the winter months before the beauty of spring fills the air! Creating new goals (learning a new skill or achieving fitness aspirations) or adopting new social habits (joining a club, creating a recurring social date with friends, committing to volunteer in the community) can help carry you through the season with purpose! In addition, carry a roll-on aromatherapy stick with you to apply to temples and wrists for an afternoon boost.
Managing the high: Imagine for a second that you had a broken bone. The healing would likely take time.You would have a treatment plan to follow, and perhaps some physiotherapy. If you were to rush back to physical activities before the bone was fully healed then there would be a greater risk of reinjury and the healing process would be delayed. When faced with chronic stress or healing from adrenal fatigue, the healing process should be respected as much as a treatment plan for a broken bone. The hard part is not overdoing it when you’re feeling well. Like I-feel-freakin’-fantastic-so-I’m-going-to-do-all-the-errands-and-then-a-cardio-sesh….and then crash for days because you overdid it.
If you want more energy, it helps to manage the energy you have. Allow your body to heal. This means doing work when you feel good, but stopping before you become exhausted. This means exercising, but with less intensity and more recovery time. This also means listening to your body and respecting the healing process. The takeaway here is to manage ‘the high’ so that it doesn’t overtax your body and leave you in an energy deficit once more.
Mindset Tip: Organize your tasks according to your natural energy rhythm and moods. This means listening to your body and being flexible/creative with your day.
Example: Clustering your errands (I’ll usually write a to do list of errands and pick one evening during the week to complete them). Choosing to enjoy yoga and lighter hikes.
Perhaps the key to seasonal changes and more consistent energy is the same as the key to life in general – adaptability and mindset! Take a step back from the rush of life and plan how you’re going to welcome old man winter with grace and gusto. Winter can be a beautiful high energy season if we let it! Do season change affect your energy levels and mood? Are there specific tips and tricks that work for you? Are you going to try or have tried our suggestions above? Reach out to Pranin Organic and Girl Gone Good on Instagram and let us know! Tag us in your morning smoothie posts or other winter health hacks.
Victoria Walsh is the voice behind Girl Gone Good, a little blog that grew out of the desire to embrace better health and explore the world in earnest. As a military veteran, she loved the adventurous life full of challenges, travel, and skydiving. Trading her combats boots for hikers, a love for mountains, wellness, and a small smoothie obsession emerged. She is currently earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Ottawa.