As seen in the January 27th issue of the Clarkston News…
I’m always a little melancholy this time of year. Enter the time of COVID and those winter blues can seem unrelenting. Lucky for you, I bring good news. At Forum Health Clarkston, I’ve learned how to combat this year’s seasonal slump and you can, too, with these easy, winter health pick-me-ups.
Say it with me! Regular exercise is important for reducing your risk of developing chronic illnesses like heart disease, diabetes and obesity. Sedentary lifestyles are BAD for your health—including your mental health.
Get up and do something. I’m not talking about crazy exercise. There are many leisurely activities that get your heart going as well as your soul. My best friend and I recently discovered the Bald Mountain trails in Lake Orion. It’s such a wintery, sparkly sight! I forget I’m cold. Even better, it’s a fantastic workout with lots of dopamine and good ol’ fashioned girl bonding.
If you’re shaking your head at me right now, you’re more of an indoor person. I’m sure you’ll find a good yoga routine on YouTube or maybe it’s time to check out your local gym. Either way, get off the couch.
Enhance your physical and emotional wellbeing when you meditate every day. Many people believe that mediation is the practice of turning off the mind. Please know that can only happen if you’re dead. There is no right or wrong way to meditate. There is only awareness and non-awareness. You are very much alive, so your focus during meditation is aimed at building mindfulness through awareness.
For a winter health pick-me-up, try concentrating on your slow breath for about ten minutes. When you notice your thoughts wandering, you’ve moved into awareness. Simply bring your attention back to your breath and continue your practice. You will emerge refreshed with a new perspective and a new healthy habit.
Staying in good winter health can be tricky when we’re hibernating (ahem, quarantining), but there are ways to get rid of the leftover holiday bloat and inflammation. Hopefully by now all the fudge and cookies are gone. If not, toss them.
Avoid sugar: While it does give you a short-term energy boost, it will wear off. High-sugar foods cause blood sugar to rise quickly. Your body then releases insulin to bring the spiking levels back down. This is followed by a slump or what’s commonly known as the “sugar crash.” It’s also a real downer when it comes to the mood.
Pay attention: Be aware of mindless eating—you know, when you’re in that weird fog and you just keep putting chips in your mouth? There’s nothing heavier than the shame that comes after we overindulge. Listen to your body. If you’re hungry, eat. When you’re not hungry, put the food away. Have some water. Distract yourself with good conversation or something you enjoy doing like sewing, painting, reading, meditating, EXERCISING…you get it.
It’s not unusual to feel sluggish this time of year. If you’ve tried everything and all seems lost, it might be more than a bout of bad winter health. It may be time to seek outside support. At Forum Health Clarkston, we have many services, from detoxing and customized plans to changing your perception. To learn more, give us a call and join one of our monthly Meet and Greets!
Adrian Schirr, Business Development Manager/Staff Writer at Forum Health Clarkston