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Why does the sun affect your mood?

Why does the sun affect your mood

By Leah Marmulla

How is your mood, as the sun gets sleepy?

Autumn, now the sun is setting sooner, and the getting up later, what are you doing to maintain healthy, supportive habits? 

For many, the hibernation feeling starts to kick in with the change of season, and this can be counter productive for most of us. 

The shorter days takes away opportunity to play outside, and as it getting cooler, the chill can certainly hinder our instincts as well.  Like all things, we need time to adapt and to stay on target.

Have you noticed the change in produce in the supermarket or the farmer's market?  Many of the root vegetables are starting to increase in number as they are the plant's storage compartment of energy and nutrients for the next season's crop. 

The change also heralds produce that is becoming higher in Vit C and various immune supporting phyto-nutrients (colour) and minerals, again to help the produce reproduce and sustain the next generation. 

Fortunately, we benefit as well from nature's nurture by boosting our immune system and encouraging us to rest more. 

In preparation for the coming winter, (which is only 6 weeks away), it invaluable to assess and create supportive strategies now, so when the chill really sits in, you can give yourself a list of positive things to work with.

Know Yourself

  • Know yourself!! What is your typical response to cooler weather?  

    • Do you stay indoors watching movies, cooking up a storm of comfort foods; 

    • go out but still be plan so you stay toasting warm in the heat; 

    • Become adventurous because at least now you don't break out a sweat by moving from one end of the house to the other? 

    • Go wild and get creative to make the most of the camp fires, cuddling moments etc.?

If you know what you are likely to do, out of habit in response to the season's change, then assess if it is supportive of your bigger health and wellness goal.  If it is, then keep it or ramp it up, and if not, what could be done differently to achieve your goal?

Food Preferences

  • What foods do you prefer? This is a difficult one, because again, our natural response is hibernation.  Yes, we are like bears who prefer to rug up with our loved ones and do little. Unfortunately, by doing this, and even more so when the winter menu is even more laden with Kjs/Cals, rich flavors and carb loaded we tend to put on weight and have mini panic attacks 6 weeks later when spring starts to spring.  If this is you, then forward planning is a must

    • Become familiar with most eaten dishes during the cooler months and consider how energy laden they are

    • Evaluate if you are moving enough to burn off the foods you eat and if you do by keeping active in exercise, or sport, then go for it. (I would hazard to guess you may not be as active, after all the sun is down before you get home)

    • Learn the easy substitutes for some of the foods you love. Looking for mashed potato swap to cauliflower mash instead, enjoy the casseroles, shanks and other warm hearty meals by packing them with 'free' vegetables such as carrots, pumpkin, squash, and then at the last minute throw in huge bundles of chopped up leafy greens.  This way you get the flavor, all the extra fibre, minerals and phytonutrients without the Kjs/Cals.  A full, warm tummy for less weight building!

  • Consider the serve size. Again, because we tend to sit more in winter, in front of the heater and tv, we also tend to eat more.  Practice being mindful while planning, cooking and eating so the brain gets all the support signals to be full. 

  • Who do you hang out with and where? This may sound like an odd questions, but think about it.  If the places you go with the people you like to hang out with is a temptation hell, then this might be a good one to reconsider.  Peer pressure as we know can be used for good or evil, its your choice.  Stand up for what you believe in and what to achieve.  Be the light of change for yourself first and others.  Character is being true to yourself in the face of others doing the opposite. 

  • Sunlight deprived depression is a real thing. It is linked to the sun - obviously, but also Vit D.  So, if you are one who tends to get mopier during winter, then now is the time to plan ahead.  Do you want a repeat of the previous year's experiences?  If no, what are you going to do differently?

Summary

Who are you and what is it you want to experience this winter. 

How are you going to do things differently to help you achieve this.  

Who, if anyone, do you need to talk with to promote doing things differently.

What could be researched - activities, locations, adventures, tools, resources, to keep you moving and access to foods that give comfort, with out the loaded Kjs/Cals

Looking for ideas? 

Consider brainstorming with your friends and see what is going on in your community.  Put it in the diary and move towards the things you have said you wanted to achieve.

 

Leah
Healthy Eats


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