Adrenal fatigue, feelings of anxiety, emotional dread, and resistance to the cooler temperatures.
All of these symptoms show up in the body progressively over time.
When the physical body and mind are put into overdrive, in addition to fighting the environmental stressors, our nervous system goes into a state of fight or flight mode, all of our reaction times are delayed, our endocrine systems to regulate our moods takes a big hit, along with the other systems that maintain homeostasis in our bodies.
In other words, biological systems start to shut down, we feel light-headed, stressed, our metabolism either spikes or crashes, and we do not feel properly rested.
There is a natural inclination to hibernate and rest in the winter, especially with the colder weather and shorter hours of daylight. But based on our busy work weeks, projects, and lists of neverending to-do items at the beginning of the year, we also look forward to mobilizing our bodies as the onset of Spring approaches.
Here are 10 tips to get yourself rejuvenated and nourished for Spring:
This can be crucial and difficult for many. Perhaps we have to give up certain recreational activities, socializing, or other obligatory commitments in order to find more rest and replenishment throughout our work week. Writing down shorter to-do lists are helpful and allowing them to culminate into a gradual but not overwhelming weekly list to make room for spillover.
Want to learn more about journaling? (Read Keep Yourself Accountable! The Art of Journaling)
Limit Caffeine Intake and Drink Water.
Caffeine is a stimulant and diuretic which can spike your blood sugar and dehydrate you if you drink too much coffee, tea, energy drinks or other caffeine-induced beverages first thing in the day. Start your day off with at least one full glass of water, and progressively drink at least 8-10 glasses of water or more if you are including caffeine in your day. Try to limit your caffeine consumption to 1 cup and day and not to take any after 3pm.
Get a Massage.
Releasing muscular tension and knots is probably the most useful reset that we can either pay another service to provide us with or that we can do on our own with foam rollers and myo-fascial release balls and devices.
Reconnect with Nature.
Go for 20 minute walks in a park or around a track. Bury your feet in the sand. Climb trees. Bask a tan at a local pond. Gaze imminently into a landscape that is not digitally created in front of your eyes. Imagine yourself full of million of particles that share the same atoms and elemental properties as the botanicals around you.
Put your phone on Airplane Mode.
Don’t just put your phone away on silent. Turn it onto airplane mode so all push notifications from messages, emails, calendar reminders, etc. don’t even appear on your phone. Allow yourself at least a few hours to go offline and power off. You can use then use the allotted 1-2 hours during the day to check all the notifications once you turn back ‘on.’
Meditate on empty.
Meditation is a practice that can be mastered and can be done anywhere where there is a quiet place to sit and reflect within oneself (i.e. private office, bed, backyard) 5-15 minutes of meditation a day can enhance productivity, clear the mind, and allow a simple slowing down and refocus on tasks that should be prioritized. Try to meditate when you are not overstimulated (i.e. right after a vigorous workout or after a full meal) (Read Meditation & Mindfulness: debunking the ancient practice)
Eat healthy foods.
Eat a well-balanced, high-alkaline diet full of colourful vegetables and fruits, lean proteins, healthy fats, and moderate consumption of carbohydrates. Try to avoid over-processed, junk, and fast food, hydrogenated oils like canola and sunflower, and limit your intake of trans fats. Your body doesn’t work in overdrive when you are consuming the raw nutrients in their most natural form.
Perform regular check-in’s.
Have a weekly meet-up group of colleagues or friends that can hold you accountable for your goals and aspirations each week. They can also serve as your feedback and critique forum for anything that you may feel is bogging you down from finding productivity.
Get enough B Vitamins
Vitamin B allows the healthy metabolism of energy in the body to be utilized in the building process of new tissues and cellular formation. If you are limited and are underexposed to sunlight this time of the year (hello B12!), find multi-vitamin supplements that you can take during meals. Nutritional yeast (FULL of B Vitamins) is another healthy alternative which can be added as a topping and makes a healthy alternative in place of parmesan cheese.
Try a new workout with a friend.
Trying a new exercise class with a friend encourages healthy competition, reward feedback, and adrenaline surge to reduce the levels of cortisol (stress hormones) and allows a gentle lightheartedness (serontonin release that puts you at ease.) It also helps release the anxiety of doing a workout alone, relieves social pressure, and makes the hours working out go by much faster!