Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Beat Those Winter Blues

Where’s the sun? Is it freezing in here, or is it just me? Pass the Kleenex…ah, could you hurry…ah…ahh…ahhh. Sniffle, sniffle. Hey, are there any more holiday cookies left? Is your brother ever going to leave our guest bedroom? Man, I feel like…hold on…ah…ahhh…ahhhh

CHOOOO!

Winter. Blah.

Is it spring yet?

Nope, not for a long time.

Does this sound familiar? This time of year, after weeks of overindulging on fattening foods during the holidays, compounded by icy and sun-deprived weather, further complicated by the cold and flu season, can take its toll. Hey, I can go on and on, complain with the best of them. Instead, I’d rather offer up some positive tips on how to:

BEAT THOSE WINTER BLUES



TAKE A HIKE!

Or at least take a walk. Too cold or rainy outside? That does present some problems, but ones that need to be addressed if you not only want to help combat those winter blues, but stay (get?) in shape. A daily thirty-minute walk does wonders for you. It gets your blood flowing, which actually warms you up, shaking the cobwebs off the old bones and sending much needed (and appreciated) endorphins to the brain that stimulate your soul (and life) with happiness. Still too cold for you? Get yourself a treadmill or stationary bike, anything! Just pump those legs and pump that blood. Be sure to dress accordingly: hat, gloves, waterproof jacket, and, always, good walking shoes.

STEP AWAY FROM THE COOKIES!

Eating the right foods and the right amounts is a reoccurring mantra for me and this website. There is no better time to adopt healthier nutritional eating habits than right now, during the blah winter months, following the holiday (overindulging) season. Besides assisting your weight loss goals (and we all have those, don’t we?), proper nutrition can actually make you FEEL better. These fitness and nutrition videos can help get you started.

PASS THE KLEENEX AND WASH YOUR HANDS!

Sneezing, coughing, phlegm-laden human beings that you come into contact with are everywhere this time of year, and often unavoidable. But you CAN protect yourself from catching whatever illness is ailing them by following a few precautions:

*Try to avoid shaking hands or having other contact if you know someone is sick.
*Wash your hands with HOT water and soap throughout the day. If you can’t, then carry a hand sanitizer with you and use that until you can wash properly.
*Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze, hoping that others will do the same for you.
*Always use a Kleenex, and toss it when done. Don’t use hankies, they hold germs.
*Wash your hands BEFORE and AFTER using a public restroom, then use a paper towel to turn off the faucet and one for the door handle.
*Try to avoid sharing telephones, keyboards, pens--anything where hand-to-hand contact is prevalent.
*ALWAYS disinfect hotel room TV remote controls!

SUPPLEMENT THE SUN!

Winter weather can swallow up the sun for days on end, and that’s not a good thing. Why? Vitamin D. A lack of this important vitamin, which we get naturally from exposure to the sun, can lead to myriad health issues, as well as contribute to the winter blues. A simple solution: Take a vitamin D supplement. A not so simple solution: Move to Maui.

GRAB A GUITAR!

Sometimes boredom or the same old, same old contributes to the blahs this time of year. Why not start that hobby you’ve been putting off? I love playing my guitar. It helps take my mind off things and it is said that music, be it performing or just listening to it, can cheer you up. Not musically inclined? There are hundreds of other hobbies that may interest you: sewing, reading, collecting, the list is endless, the rewards many.

SMALLER IS BIGGER!

Enjoy the simpler things in life, especially during these challenging financial times. Play with your kids. Take a nice stroll with your spouse…to the bedroom. Cook a meal together. Work a puzzle, jigsaw or crossword. Interact, in positive ways, with those who mean the most to you and those winter blues will evaporate like a snowman in July (except in Canada and parts of Minnesota). Deal, adjust, cope, enjoy. Live life.

MAKE IT YOUR GOAL!

(see prior post)

LAUGH IT OFF!

Nothing beats humor and laughter to make those winter blah/blues go away. Laughter not only cheers you up and makes you feel better, but it’s proven to be healthy for you. The significance of laughter is often underrated as a healthy option for what’s bringing you down or making you sick.

Winter has just begun and will not be over any time soon. Why not make the best of winter (can you tell it’s not my favorite season?) by taking action and doing everything you can to enhance each day, living life to its fullest. Every day. Every way. And beat those winter blues.

Until next time…

peace,

Mike

36 comments:

Bargain Central said...

I love your blog! It is so positive! You also have me drinking green tea (and other kinds). So great job and keep the wonderful posts coming! : )

Eric S. said...

Hey Mike, Sorry I have been kind of absent lately. I have been out running around in the woods chasing four legged animals. Nice post, The winter hum drums can be pretty testing. I love to get outdoors, even in the cold weather. Back home I would be skiing or snowshoeing all the time. Not much of that down here.

I like that "Step away from the cookies". I immediately pictured a rough looking cop wearing a campaign hat and mirrored sunglasses, Hand on his "utility belt" read to take action if I was slow to respond to that order. Ironically I was eating a cookie at the moment I read that. I put it down right away, LOL.

You surely would not want to torture yourself with any of my attempts at the guitar. I did take a class in high school, ulterior motives were involved, certainly not music, LOL. I guess you could say the participant in the class were of more interest to me than the class.

I do have a number of hobbies that I regularly play with to keep myself occupied. I have to say that the blogging world has managed to take over a large part of my time, and I have to force myself to "step away from the computer" at times.

Have a great day.

Casbah Kitten said...

What a great post and great advice! We've had so much rain here that I'm really feeling the winter blahs but just today I got motivated to start exercising again!

jack said...

Your blog posts are always rocking and rolling. All the healthy advices and ideas are cool. My number one priority in life is healthy living. I hope I can stick to that. Thanks for the great post.

PurpleGreenPops.com said...

Mike, your blog videos are like a weekly presidential address to the nation!

Seriously, these are all good suggestions, especially one as simple as making sure to wask your hands. That alone goes a long way to prevent sickness during the winter time.

Anna said...

The "Step away from the cookies" really cracked me up! I'm sitting here with my cup of Zen green tea and trying not to think about those Snickerdoodles over on the dining room table!

Martin in Bulgaria said...

You are a knight in shining armour to many with your blog Mike. I must admit I do most of those things you suggest anyway, in fact that's why I like winter, it gives you reasons to do things. By the way, never had the flu or colds for years here, so I save on tissue paper.

Summer is more of a problem with over eating and just sitting around - its too hot to do anything. Bit of a flip side of the coin there really.
Back on track - So glad I subscribed to your blog so I don't miss anything! Recommend others do this! Rcck on Winter!

Natural said...

winter blues. i got 'em that must be it. i have cut back on my cookies too. that might also be apart of the problem :)

Healing Yourself Heals the World said...

These are great tips, thanks so much for your insight. I find myself constantly thinking 'It's only 4pm! Why is it dark?'

"Δημήτριος ο Ταξιδευτής" said...

lovely post Mike
thanks for tips

Karen & Gerard Zemek said...

Great ideas here, Mike. I find plenty do to, especially now that I blog and read the blogs of others. I like using my Flip video camera too and find it fun making videos, although it does take long to get them posted sometimes. Now is the time to do it I figure, while it's yucky weather outside.

Also just joined a gym again so can to there 3-4 times a week to workout again. Definitely something I need to do again.

I am having a lot of trouble staying away from the cookies, candy, cake and ice cream lately though--their so good!

betchai said...

love this post, again really great and inspiring article. it is indeed up to the person who breathes to make life as happy and as healthy as it can be.

Wayne John said...

I miss the full power of the sun too. I ate way too much over the holiday's, and it seems to continue on into the new year. Thanks for being so proactive about these things and reminding me that I need to watch it. It really helps, so thank you!

Retired and Restless said...

Mike, I have an appreciation and am in total agreement with you regarding hand-washing. In fact, I so echo your own sentiments in my blog that I want to assure you that my entries for Jan 8 and Jan 9 were written before I saw your post today. Great stuff! Good Health to you!

Mike Foster said...

bargain central: glad to see you're enjoying green tea...thanks for the kind words

eric: hey, long time no see. happy to hear you're embracing the great outdoors. another great comment, as always...thanks

casbah kitten: beat those blahs!

jack: good luck with those excellent goals

paul (the purplegreenpops guy!): thanks for the nice comment. and, yes, simple habits, like washing your hands, keeps the sniffles away

anna: snickerdoodles are tempting

martin: wow, a winter lover, cool. that's why there are four seasons...

natural: exercise more and reward yourself with a few more cookies

healing yourself: I forgot about the early darkness, could have used that in the post, thanks

anuntpioc...: you are welcome...

karen and gerard: sounds like you have it pretty much covered, great job!

betchai: you are so right: personal accountability is vital

wayne john: holidays are tough, for sure...

retired and restless: great minds think alike, huh?


thanks for all of the wonderful comments!

peace,

Mike

Jennifer said...

Wonderful tips. Even those of us in California are missing the sun, though the rainy season here beats the slushy season back East.

One of the things I've learned over the past few years is how lousy I feel after consuming sugar, thought it is still very appealing stuff. I'm always trying to step away from those cookies. And then take a walk.

Robin Easton said...

You are such a sweetie Mike!! This video comes at such a good time of year for so many people. I am blessed to live in New Mexico where almost every day is sunny...even if it is cold. So I try to get some sun and fresh air each day and it makes a HUGE difference in how I feel and think. I've missed it this week with a head cold going on. But hope to be out and about next. I'm the sort that will hike even in the rain or snow. Just like you say it makes you come home feeling so much warmer and more invigorated. Many blessings to you for doing such creative and inspiring work.

Mark said...

Fantastic! I love your videos! Have a nice weekend!

Sister2brother said...

I have to tell you that I enjoyed reading this blog post - especially the part about taking a walk! This is something that I myself do - although I don't do it everyday.

Mike Foster said...

jennifer: too much sugar, and it's in more foods than we think, is not healthy. fresh fruits and veggies are the way to go, if you can, and exercise always helps. thanks for dropping by...

robin: i love the sun, one of the reasons i live in california. but it does get cold and gloomy, at times here, too

mark: thanks, mark

sister2brother: i don't feel right unless i take my daily walk...


peace,

Mike

Jane Doe said...

That is some absolutely wonderful advice! You are always so upbeat and positive. I love your blog.

Barry said...

The Canadian Cancer Society is now recommending Canadian's take a 1000 IU Vitamin D supplement daily, through the winter months.

HEALTH NUT WANNABEE MOM said...

once again you have inspired me to get going and not let the winter blahs get to me! Hope you are doing well!

SpinDiva said...

Laughter is my favorite way to beat the blues (SNL, Ellen, funny movies, Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck). Also, when the day is gloomy outside I light up my house, turn on the overhead lamps and make my rooms look bright by adding fresh flowers from the market. Makes a huge difference in how we all feel.

As always Mike, you are full of positive tips for us all. Thank You!!

Pushhyarag said...

Hi Mike,

Of the several tips you wrote for beating the winter blues, I am sure a lot of people would pick walking over any other. And for good effect. A 30 minute or even more if one can stretch further, of brisk walk [normal walk will do for those unable to do it brisk] whether outdoor or by treadmill has such an invigorating effect. The benefits you mentioned are all for one to experience. An invigorated mind/body will then be set to take up 10 more positive things.

All good tips for those who would really want to beat the winter blues. Enjoyed reading.

Small Footprints said...

Hi! I'm here from "An explorer's view of life".

You have a wonderful blog. This particular post was great ... you offer completely doable ways to beat the winter blues.

Thank you for offering us such valuable information!

Small Footprints
http://reducefootprints.blogspot.com

Technorino said...

Hmmm i think you could pass off for Sir. Richard Branson (from Virgin Media)

:)

Cher said...

Thanks for the great tips and ideas!

Sharkbytes (TM) said...

Good suggestions all, but of course, I like the "TAKE A HIKE" best. In fact, take 2 and call me in the morning. See myqualityday.blogspot.com

Mark said...

Just checking in....I hope your days are fantastic!

Dori said...

Great tips Mike! You always are so upbeat and I love that you are sharing all your tips with us. I always enjoy paying you a visit here. Have a great day! :)

Cats said...

I think lots of it has to do with the lack of sun. Sitting in sun always elevates my mood during winter. Btw I drink green tea too! Have a great day :)

HealthNut said...

Great suggestions. I threw out the holiday cookies to avoid temptation. I try to hike but the weather has been awful. Think I'll take that suggestion to stroll to the bedroom with dear hubby instead!

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cptan said...

i love your blog with great posting.

Funny videos said...

I love your blog! It is so positive!