Do you have a hard time rolling out of bed during the winter months when it’s cold and the mornings are dark?
Well, many people feel tired and sluggish as our bodies enter into a sort of mini-hibernation.
However, this does not mean that you should suffer from fatigue and low energy during this period.
With the next 5 simple tips, you can remain fit and productive during the following months to come.
1 Get outside often
As the days are shorter, your sleep and waking cycles may become disrupted.
The lack of sunlight means your brain produces more of a hormone called melatonin, which makes you sleepy.
You probably have the tendency to stay indoors, in the warmth and comfort of your home.
But staying inside for days on end, with nothing but artificial warmth and often bad air, keeps you in a sluggish state.
So open your blinds or curtains as soon as you get up to let more sunlight into your home, and get outdoors in natural daylight as much as possible.
Choose a day, if possible, when the sky is blue and clear, even during your lunch break.
Dress warmly, and step out and feel that winter sunshine.
2 Get the right amount of sleep
If you get tired earlier in the early evening during the winter, try going to bed earlier than usual.
We need around seven to eight hours of sleep a night. However, if you need nine hours of sleep in the winter to feel fully refreshed, than this is fine.
But if you sleep too much, chances are you’ll feel even more sluggish during the day.
Get up and go to bed at the same time each day regardless of the season, as a regular sleeping and waking routine is the most beneficial for your body and mind.
Do not expose yourself to too much light at night, such as that emitted from computer and TV screens, as it decreases sleep quality and quantity.
3 Get regular exercise
Exercise may be the last thing you want to do when you’re feeling tired on a dark winter’s day.
But you might be surprised by how energetic you feel after getting involved in some kind of physical activity.
Choose a sport activity that is close to your home or work, find a gym or a yoga studio that fits your life style or go outside for a run or a bike ride.
Even in the comfort of your home there are lots of ways to exercise by downloading mobile fitness, stretching or Pilates apps.
4 Eat the right food
The winter is a challenging time for our immune system.
The constant change from the cold outdoors to the warmth indoors makes it particularly easy for viruses and bacteria to weaken our immune system.
Improve your defences with a balanced diet. You’ll have more energy if you include plenty of fruit and vegetables in your meals.
So go slow on starchy foods such as pasta, potatoes and bread.
But instead increase citrus fruits and winter vegetables, such as cabbages, carrots, broccoli, winter squash, and parsnips.
These fruits and vegetables are full of nutrients, antioxidants and fiber which increases your energy levels.
You should also drink plenty during the winter.
Despite cold outdoor temperatures, our bodies still sweat and need around 1.5 to 2 litres of liquids every day, preferably mineral waters, herbal teas and freshly squeezed juices.
5 Relax your body and mind
If tiredness and stress have made you feel fatigued during the winter, try to find ways to decompress your body and mind.
Stress can prevent you from a good night’s sleep and will in the long run have a negative impact on your general health.
There are simple ways to reduce stress by adding yoga, meditation and mindfulness techniques to your daily schedule.
When doing these exercises on a regular basis your mind will calm down and you will feel more relaxed.
Massage is also a very powerful tool to reduce stress.
Many different massage techniques exist in order to relax deeply.
A regular massage helps to fight illness, boosts your immune system and increases your general wellbeing.
Find a massage studio close to you or book one in the comfort of your home.
You can also easily teach yourself some auto massage and acupressure techniques.
You will be surprised how effective they can be.
(Read the article: Auto massage, 3 Chinese foot reflexology points to reduce fatigue).