Elevating Energy & Mood during Gloomy Weathers

Had a great time at the Richmond Hill Health Fair last weekend, with all the vendors, curious kids, colorful displays and great conversations! We had large windows all across the Southern walls, but our view consisted of gloomy skies, rainy drizzling weather, and a seemingly cold wind..

This isn’t the first time this month, it’s been a dreary sort of weather, and there may be some more grey skies to come.. For some, the lack of warmth, sunny skies, and lush green plants may bring about a dip in energy and overall moods.. Its not just with Seasonal Affective Disorder, but there seems to be a bit of hibernation mode that kicks in for many of us during the colder months, changing moods and energy. This is not uncommon.. So what do we do about it?

Here are some tips to keeping the body functioning at its best this winter:

1. Eat Breakfast! Having a protein source in the morning, along with a dash of cinnamon acts to warm up the body for a healthy start and prevents mid-afternoon fatigue, stabilizes blood sugar. Breakfast = Brain Food! It is the first substance you put into the body for fuel after more than12 hours in fasting mode, so putting in quality protein and antioxidant rich berries, helps to provide the right boost for the morning, without causing a crash in energy later on in the day..

2. Pamper Yourself: Exercise, Massage & Saunas.. Keeping the body active, helps release endorphins, the happy hormones, for keeping moods elevated and functioning optimally in the day. This doesn’t have to be any more than 20 minutes a day of a good cardio workout, or even hot yoga for those who like the heat.. Have you noticed how relaxed the body is after being in the steam room or sauna? That’s because heat vaso-dilates the blood vessels allowing muscles to relax. Massage, also triggers the relaxation of the muscles around nerve roots, and sends a calming signal to the body!

3. Herbal Teas Galore.. Where do we start? Chamomile tea, Hops tea, (yes the stuff beer is made from), Lemon balm tea, Passion flower or Valerian Teas before bed are calming and help aid in sleeping well, a key part of waking rested with energy for the next day! Green Tea, Ginseng, Licorice, Peppermint, Ginger and Cinnamon Chai are just a few teas to help boost the energy.

4. Vitamin D & Fish Oils.. Vitamin D is a hormone produced in the body with sun exposure and has been linked to moods. Checking your levels is a great place to start. Omega 3’s in fish oils are also a key to brain neurotransmission health, and is overall anti-inflammatory!

5. Do things you LOVE!! Whether that be spending time outdoors, salsa dancing, being with family & pets, the Arts, watching movies or sports or all of the above – Laughter is the best medicine!!

Enjoy the wonderful season ahead wishing you and your family a very Happy November!

Yours in good health,

Dr. Sharlini Udayakumar, ND

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