It’s mid January, and I want to know how you’re feeling.
I feel beat. Holiday traveling and socializing combined with the Polar Vortex inspired deep freeze we have been experiencing here in New York City is enough to make me down right crabby! In addition to the freezing cold, most of us have gone back to work after a week or two off for the holidays. Returning to work after a substantial period of time off can be challenging. Many of my clients are feeling blue and struggling with re-adjusting to real life.
So if you are feeling more irritable than usual or like you’re moving in slow-mo and just can’t seem to get it together, you are not alone. The neurochemicals (a.k.a. stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol) that kick in to get you through the holidays can also leave you feeling exhausted and cranky.
A few simple fixes can help lift your energy and spirits so you can get back on track.
1. STOP THE SUGAR SURGE
While I am not yet sugar free, I have substantially decreased my sugar intake in the past two weeks. The holidays tend to create a “once a year” type attitude towards treats, from Christmas cookies to Grandma’s annual holiday fruitcake. However, in order to bring your most energetic self into 2014, it’s time to cut out (or at least cut way down) on the sweets.
Sugar spikes your energy quickly and abruptly, only to have it come crashing down to a level lower than where you started before consumption. This is the cycle of intense sugar cravings. Once your body crashes, it seeks the sugar high to regain balance. (Which, of course, does not create balance!)
In order to reduce your sugar cravings, you can try to incorporate natural sugars like maple syrup, honey, and, of course, fruit into your diet. As long as you are using high-quality products with no refined sugar in them, your blood sugar will not spike and fall as dramatically. Fruit, of course, has no refined sugar and lots of nutrients. You can add a green apple to your green juice or a banana to your oatmeal in order to have a little sweetness without the sugar spike.
2. ARE YOU ACTUALLY S.A.D.?
According to psychcentral.com, sixty to ninety percent of those affected by S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder) are women. As days get colder and shorter, the level of your happiness can decrease as well. While the holidays may have been a nice distraction from a low mood, there are tools you can use to elevate your mental state and energy.
One such tool is meditation, as it will help to reduce any excess stress and anxiety you are feeling. Meditation will help you relax and sleep better. I always try to amp up my meditation practice this time of year. I’ve created a mini guided meditation specifically for the winter blahs. Along with the meditation, I’ve provided other actionable tools you can use that will help you go from S.A.D. to glad.
3. SEE IT TO BRING IT
Much like meditation, visualization can be a very powerful practice. I’ve found that one of the best ways to create what I want is to imagine it.
Most people unconsciously spend a lot of time visualizing, yet most of what they visualize are scenarios that they don’t want to happen!
It takes effort to consciously focus on what you want. Think of it as exercise for your brain.
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I’ve discovered that the more my clients practice visualization, the easier it becomes and the better their end results.
Taking the time to visualize yourself feeling happy and successful can be your first step to beating the post-holiday/winter blahs. Success can be simple. It is possible to get it all done with more grace, ease, and fun.
We are halfway through January, and although spring may seem far away right now, it will be here before you know it. If you use the above tools and decide you want to feel good now, you won’t have to wait for spring to get your groove back!
I can’t wait to hear from you, so please share your struggles or your successful practices to beat the post-holiday/winter blahs.
Here’s to an internally sunny week, no matter what the weather may be. See you in the comments, and, as always, take care of you.
Love Love Love