You may have seen those postcards from Seattle with pictures of a typical sky in each season. Grey, Grey, Blue and Grey. Yes, it gets grey in Seattle. The constant overcast skies can have a big impact on your psyche, mood, physical health and energy level. In addition, you may find yourself binging on Netflix, eating less healthy foods or viewing too much news on your phone. The good news is that there are a lot of simple tried and true techniques to help combat the winter blues and greys while still watching a Netflix movie on the sly.
1/Go Outside! Let light into your eyes and on your skin even in the winter months. This helps set your circadian rhythm giving you more energy and a more balanced hormonal system.
2/Move your body. Use any excuse to get up from the couch. Do some jumping jacks or a minute plank in between episodes of your favorite new show or take a dance class to heat things up. Any movement is better than no movement.
3/Block out blue light from your digital screens and LED and fluorescent lights by wearing blue -blocking glasses. Blue light from these devices enters your eyes throwing off your circadian rhythm and hormones making you feel irritable and tired. Blue-blocking glasses help block this harmful light allowing you to watch TV, check Twitter, work from home or do online holiday shopping and still have energy.
4/Use incandescent lights. They mimic natural light and are great in the living room, kitchen or bedroom where you spend more time. Energy conserving LED lights are excellent for areas that are used less like a hallway, garage or porch.
5/Head to the Farmers Market! Seattle’s markets are open for business providing local vegetables, meat and dairy products for you to bring home, chop up and use for meals for the week. It can be a family event to visit the market and create a favorite meal together.
6/Take your vitamins. Vitamin D is particularly important in the winter months. I recommend taking about 5,000 IUs/day. Lesser known Vitamin K2 will help you absorb Vitamin D. Take 200 mg a day in the form of MK-7.
If you follow these tips you’ll likely notice an increase in your energy levels and a boost in your mood and alertness. Of course these tips are useful all year long, but if the Seattle grey and rain has you down, give at least a few of these a shot and I guarantee you’ll feel better.
For more tips on how to increase your energy, check out Dr. Ramaley’s book, Perpetual Energy.