As we approach the winter solstice and daylight declines; how can we maintain a little sunshine in our lives. The first question I want to ask you is during these months of shorter sunlight do you feel more fatigued? Have a hard time concentrating? Find that you are just a warm weather person and want to escape?
Certainly each of us prefers a certain type of climate more than others. But there can be specific reasons as to why we might have more difficulty concentrating, feel more fatigued or that our brain is just not on target.
So what are some of the signs that you have a dreary foggy brain? The first can be difficulty concentrating, maybe disorganization. Other causes can be insomnia issues, hormonal dysregulation or possibly certain medications or a toxin you are exposed to. Lets take a look at a few of these.
Difficulty concentrating and disorganization. Are you constantly misplacing car keys? Can’t find the work gloves you just had? This might be an early sign of cognitive decline so evaluation may need to be done; but sometimes setting up simple steps to become more organized can help to clear the mind. Organizing that work area in your garage so that you can find those gloves. Make your office or work area clutter free. Consider making a place to hang keys as a consistent go to can help.
A dreary foggy brain may be that you are not following a good sleep schedule. Making sure you are getting 7-9 hours of sleep at night and there are those who need more such as 10 hours in order to feel refreshed. The sleep environment should be a cool dark place in order to go to sleep and stay asleep. Keeping night time as quiet as possible.
Your hormones are not in balance. If you find mood swings or experience body temperature changes such as hot flashes it is wise to consult your health care provider to have those evaluated. Vitamin D is a vitamin as well as a hormone. It is important to keep it in the optimal range which is 65-80. Naturally our Vitamin D levels tend to decline during the winter months so it can be beneficial to increase that Vitamin D supplement
during the winter.
Certain medications can lead to nutritional deficiencies. If you are on prescription medications consult with your health care provider or pharmacist as to how these medications work and if they can contribute to certain nutritional deficiencies. Medications typically get metabolized either through our kidneys or liver so foods or supplements to support these organs is important.
Lastly is there a toxin that you could be exposed to. The home environment is the first place to start. Ask yourself the following questions. Where do you shop for food? Do you try to purchase organic, GMO free as much as possible? What cleaning products do you use and personal care products? Is your home free of mold, radon? When was the last time you had your drinking water tested? Every little step is important in health.
Lastly it could simply could be that winter is just not your favorite time of year with the shorter days of sunshine. So consider the following:
1. Make sure you have good lighting in your home. You may need to switch out light bulbs to an LED friendly version. You can get free LED bulbs by checking out the focus on energy marketplace.
2. Make a family project by doing some redecorating. You can even have children or other family members color/ paint pictures and you can hang in your home. Children love to participate if they can re-decorate their bedrooms.
3. Find fun new recipes to do together in the kitchen. It can be fun and a great way for children to learn to cook for themselves and educate on the importance of good nutrition.
4. Have plants and flowers. These add color and brightness to any home.
5. Even if you don’t particularly like going outside, try a new outdoor winter activity such as snow shoeing or get in the yard and build a snowman with your children or grandchildren.
6. Start a new project with the family such as making soaps, or using essential oils to make your own cleaning products.
6. Light candles in the home it is very warming and relaxing.
7. Lastly it is OK to have a lazy day. So stay in your pajamas and play a board game and make some wonderful family memories!
May you have many bright days to come!