Today’s I have a guest article for you by Janet Gomez of Nutri-Jyoti. With the winter season upon us, I was thinking that it’s about time I write an article with some tips to keep the Vata dosha in balance (in Ayurveda, the late autumn into winter season is predominately Vata). Then I received Janet’s newsletter today with Vata-balancing tips so I figured, how perfect and now I’m sharing them with you. I love how Janet’s tips are simple and easy to implement into your every day life.
Enjoy the article!
How To Beat Winter Blues
by Janet Gomez
It’s November and, though we are being blessed with a number of sunny days so far, typically it’s a month that can be the start of a difficult period, especially for us ladies!
Winter blues or seasonal depression is something many of us experience to varying degrees with the days getting shorter and fewer daylight hours.
Research indicates that it is because light is important for regulating our internal biological clock which controls the secretion of different hormones according to the time of day. It is thought that winter blues is caused by a change in the circadian rhythm and the secretion of the hormone, melatonin. There is also usually a problem with the secretion of the neurotransmitters, dopamine and serotonin, in those who experience seasonal depression.
Symptoms include tiredness, increased appetite, carbohydrate cravings, weight gain and increased desire to sleep.
The body’s response, as explained in Ayurveda, is that we have a greater digestive capacity because of the increased internal “fire” needed to deal with the external cold and dryness.
What can you do if you feel you’re suffering from winter blues? Here are 7 Ayurvedic nutritional and wellbeing tips to help you help yourself.
1. Eat hot soupy oily meals rich in protein which are satisfying and increase energy levels. In the evening eat lightly at least 3-4 hours before going to bed.
2. Eat sweet, sour and salty foods – the tastes that help to balance Vata, the dosha prevalent during this season.
3. Do regular self-massage with sesame oil (or go for regular oil massage)
4. Drink warm to hot water only throughout the day during this period.
5. Consume heating herbs and spices e.g. ginger, black pepper, turmeric, cloves, cinnamom, thyme, sage, typically the herbs and spices we are drawn to during this season.
6. Get away to sunny climes for a winter break – even if it’s just a week it will help you manage the short days on your return!
7. Go for a brisk 30 minute walk in the morning.The exercise will help serotonin secretion and if you get out and about your body will benefit from the daylight. If you can’t get outside sitting by a fireplace (with a fire!) can also be beneficial. Doing moderate exercise, for example, yoga exercises such as the Sun Salutation are helpful for warming up the body.
Make sure you’re ready to deal with winter blues so you enjoy the lovely moments this season holds. Take time to ask yourself if you have any/all of the symptoms mentioned and also what you can do about it. And if you feel you need help don’t be afraid to ask now rather than later.
About the author:
Janet Gomez, nutritional consultant, produces the “Nutri-Jyoti News”, a free monthly e-newsletter for busy professionals. Feel ready to learn how to use nutritional strategies to manage your energy levels? Then sign up for her FREE e-course “5 Nutritional Keys to Vitality in your Life” on the Nutri-Jyoti home page now.
photo by joiseyshowaa via flickr