January 05, 2011

Beating the Crazy Winter Blues

So, the weather where I live has been a bit crazy.  Snow, snow, and more snow!  I truly love snow, but after a while I feel a little cooped up and want to get out.  Our little town doesn't even have a gym.  The closest gym is 30 minutes away.  Makes for a long winter. 

It's truly hard riding your bicycle in this weather, but I have found that the indoor trainer and spin classes will just have to due.  No matter how crazy it makes me.  I was talking with my brother who was up for the Holiday season visiting from L.A.  he said there are so many cyclists out on the roads down there this time of year.  How can this be?  Doesn't everybody live with snow?  I mean isn't everybody dealing with five foot drifts in their yards?  Aren't schools being canceled due to bad weather? 
(I look like I am ready to beat someones butt.  Really, I am super happy.)
"If you can't beat it join in."
Now, what I mean by this is get your butt outside and play.  If you make the time to get outside you will be able to cope with the long winters just a little easier. Your loved ones will thank you for not being so p.m.s.e! 

I was able to get out and take my family out for a day of snowshoeing and cross country skiing.  They had a total blast.  I mean WE had a total blast.

 Here are a few tips I found from sparkpeople.com to make your cold winter months a lot more fun.
1.    Exercise -As if we needed another reason to get fit! Exercise isn’t only for maintaining your weight and staying healthy. It’s great for relieving the stresses of life. Plus, the effects of a good workout can last for several hours after you hit the showers. You’ll have more energy throughout the day, and your metabolism with stay elevated too. Exercise also helps your mind by releasing those "feel good chemicals" that improve your mood.

2.  Eat a Healthy Diet - What and when you eat has a great affect on your mood and energy. Avoid refined and processed foods (like white breads, rice, and sugar). These foods are not only devoid of the nutrients your body craves, but they zap your energy levels and can affect your mood—causing depression, lack of concentration, and mood swings. Try to incorporate more complex carbohydrates (whole wheat breads, brown rice, veggies, fruit) and get your daily 8 cups of water. These healthy foods provide your body (and mind) with nutrients, and stabilize your blood sugar and your energy levels.

3.  Get Some Sun - Most people know that sunlight provides us with Vitamin D. But did you know that it also improves your mood? Winter days are shorter and darker than other months, and because of the cold weather, a lot of people spend less and less time outdoors. Lack of sunlight can cause many people to become depressed—without knowing why! Similar to exercise, sunlight exposure releases neurotransmitters in the brain that affect mood. Try to spend a little more time outdoors. Keep your shades up during the day to let more light in. Sit near windows in restaurants and during class. Try changing the light bulbs in your house to "full spectrum" bulbs. These mimic natural light and actually have the same affects on your mind as the real thing.

4.  Treat Yourself - Having something to look forward to can keep anyone motivated. Winter seems endless! But if you plan something exciting, your mood improves when you’re anticipating it and when the event actually comes. Plan something that’s exciting to you—a weekend trip, a day at the spa, or special event like a play, girls (or guys) night out, or sporting event.

5.  Relax! -You’re busy! Work, class, family, friends, appointments, meetings—even if you enjoy being busy, everyone needs some time off. Don’t be afraid to say "No" to extra opportunities (covering a shift for a co-worker, bringing food to your son’s class party). Try to spend a few minutes each day doing nothing!

6.  Embrace the Season - Instead of always avoiding the cold and the snow—look for the best that it has to offer! Take up a winter sport like ice skating, snowboarding, hockey, or even sledding! Enjoy these opportunities while they last—after all, they’re only here a few months per year. Staying active will boost your energy. Seeing winter in a positive light, with all the fun activities that it has to offer, will keep your spirits high.

7.  Get Social Support - Don’t underestimate the power of friends, family, mentors, co-workers, and neighbors. Who can you turn to when you’re down and need a pick-me-up? Keep a mental list of these special people and don’t be afraid to ask for help or encouragement when you need it. Something as simple as a phone call, a chat over coffee, or a nice email or letter can brighten your mood.

8.  Catch some Zzzz’s - People naturally want to sleep a little bit more during the winter. But with all we have going on, sometimes sleep is the first thing to go. With a little time management, and some self-discipline, you can meet your shut-eye needs. Aim for 7-8 hours each night, and try to keep your bedtime and waking time consistent.
Now that you have some key tips to keep you going this winter season.  Get out and enjoy the benefits that winter has to offer. 


Dawn said...

WOOT! Awesome post!!!!!
So with you on this No-Bike thing. Sick and tired of snow and ice on my bike ways.....
But yeah...embrace this snow~ we will if we must.
I have x-country skied almost every day since it snowed just to DEFY the weather:) I drive half hour in the mornings to jump in the college pool. And as much as I detest the treadmill...I am burning up the treads:))

LOVE you photos!
LOVE this post!
Thank you!
(And I really-REALLY Love your "Kick some butt" pic;))))

Bella Rosa Bikes said...

Dawn you rock! Thank you for being you! I appreciate your willingness to share your thoughts. Happy winter girl.

bBchronicles said...

AWESOME POST - love the photos. They're all amazing and fun but I especially love the one of Kelton and that amazing MOSS in the middle of winter! Beautiful colors etc. I think you BLOG when it's 10 ft of snow outside! Nicely done 'missy-pooh'!

Bella Rosa Bikes said...

Oh Thanks Ma! It is fun to get out and play. Come up sometime and we will take you snowshoeing.

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