How the colder, shorter days can affect your mindset
By Tiffiny Hall, founder of tiffxo.com
It’s getting colder, the nights are dark early and it seems that puddle jumping is now a daily activity. It’s not always easy to maintain a happy and positive mindset when the days seem short, the sunlight fleeting and our moods sometimes plummeting. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a form of depression that can occur during the darker months. Although only a few of us get thoroughly depressed during the chilly months, almost all of us (guilty!) feel more tired, run down, down in general and definitely lacking some pep as the cold chill settles in.
The colder days also means we are more prone to isolating and hermitting ourselves and sometimes the winter blues can settle in even before we realise. Try these things this chilly season to help keep your mood up and #happyfit, one cold day at a time.
Winter isn’t an excuse to avoid exercise. I know it’s hard to stay motivated when it’s sooooo cold. Exercise is vital to building your immune system, by providing a boost to the cells in the body that attack bacteria, and keeping colds at bay. Just because it’s raining outside doesn’t mean you don’t work out. TIFFXO means you can work out anywhere and at anytime, so turn your living room into your DIY Dojang (Korean for gym!) and get ready to get your shine on.
Find a workout buddy to keep you motivated
Grab yourself an accountability buddy for the winter. Having like minded friends to share this journey with can make exercise a bit more fun and it means your excuses are numbered. Set some time aside each day for your buddy moment – get the girls over for a TIFFXO workout, have a dance workout party, issue each other squatting challenges or even grab your colleagues at lunchtime and organise a group shine session. Establishing a together routine and connecting with like minded people can help push and shove that motivation to where it needs to be.
Fill up on the good stuff
Winter generally means reaching for that warm comfort food that seems to warm you up from the inside out. Look after your immune system this winter and load yourself up with unprocessed foods, fruits, vegetables and wholegrains and lean protein! Stock up on Vitamin C high foods such as kiwi, berries, cabbage, oranges and broccoli. Get spicy in the kitchen and get yourself familiar with those high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties – I’m talking ginger, turmeric, rosemary, cayenne pepper and enough garlic to kill the cast of Twilight.
All about using natural resources
Vitamin D deficiency is linked to both winter blues and weight gain. Vitamin D boosting strategies include getting outside as much as you can (you’ll be surprised how much Vitamin D can sneak through those seemingly endless clouds), looking into infrared light therapy but the easiest to action now is investing in some supplements. By taking supplements, we fill in the lack of sun exposure shortfalls we experience in winter. You’ll find similar benefits when you bring more Omega 3 into your daily life. Fish, nuts, seeds, hemp oil, soybeans and dark green veggies are all rich in Omega 3 and help fight off the winter blues.
It is super important you make sleep a priority during these cold days. Getting 7-8 hours of sleep a night is not a luxury, it’s a necessity. Good sleep can help with our stress levels, fight off disease, can improve and help your mental health as well as those pesky winter colds. By letting your body rest overnight, it gives it time to repair and keeps that immune system strong! Plus I’m willing to fight anyone who says you’re not allowed to nap as a grown up…
Positive is the name of the game
When you’re having a moment of feeling lost and feel like nothing is going right, it’s time to force some positivity. Write down a GREAT list. Sit down and make a list of all the things you’re thankful for (even the little things like a cheeky marshmallow in a hot chocolate) and a second list of all of the things you’re proud of achieving (maybe it was finishing that intense work report, or prepping out your meals for the week or that you got to another level on TIFFXO). Repeat your positive achievements and thoughts to yourself often and place your lists somewhere you see them often, the bathroom mirror or the fridge door so you can be constantly and easily reminded of all of the amazing things in your life and if you’re having a negative Nancy moment, look at your lists and let your own awesome self inspire you.
Drink drink drink
It’s beyond important to keep that hydration up. By drinking lots of water you’re going to help combat any viruses you may be exposed to and flush out any of those nasty germs. Not only will this help keep your immune system in check, it will also keep your winter appetite under control.
Set some goals
Don’t let winter be your derailing moment, set some goals to help keep you on track. I love a good goal, it helps keep me motivated and keeps me focused with a plan. Write down the things you want to achieve and write down the steps you need to achieve them. Doesn’t matter what it is, write it down, make a plan and stick to it. It doesn’t have to be a massive goal of losing a gazillion kilos. Make inch pebble goals, smaller goals you can achieve quicker with the bigger goal in mind. Is it committing to a dog walk every day? Getting up to 5 levels on tiffxo.com? By setting and achieving goals it will help keep you motivated and positive. Make sure you reward yourself with something not food based too when you hit one of your goals. Go and get those shoes! Get comfy at Gold Class. Do something JUST for you.
Dress for the weather
Staying warm is a big (secret) help in keeping a positive mindset as the winter’s chill can make you feel sluggish with your energy diminishing quickly. For a quick spirit lifter, get into those cute winter clothes and don’t leave home without your scarf, gloves and beanie.
Reset and practise ‘never two in a row’
You’re human and sometimes you’re not going to go 100% according to your plan. That’s okay! Just reset and the next day, start fresh. The point is not to repeat your bad day / bad meal / missing exercise. By immediately resetting you’re giving yourself the best chance to get back on track but by repeating your mistakes your two bad days can easily turn into three, three into four, four into a week and then you’ve ruined all of your hard work.