If you're anything like me, these shorter, darker days can weigh heavy on you. Here are 5 practices that can make you feel lighter and brighter through the fog:
1. Practice Gratitude
Gratitude brings appreciation to what we already have and how far we have come. Energy flows where our attention goes. So keep your focus on what’s positive in your life and notice how things can start to shift. I like to start my day with stating 3 things that I'm grateful for before even getting out of bed- it sets an upbeat tone.
2. Practice consistent self-care
Do you ever have those days when everything seems to “go wrong”? You spill your coffee on your new shirt in the morning and you cut your finger opening a can of tomatoes that night. You may think you’re just clumsy but really – this is a call for self -care. This is your body and your world telling you it’s time for a time out. It can take as little as 15 minutes in a sitting meditation (or as long as a 90 minute massage ;) ) Self-care does not need to entail such exotic things as meditation, yoga and juice cleanses. It can be as simple as calling a good friend, going for a walk, snuggling with your dog ... Keep it simple and true to you. You’ll feel more grounded, calmer and things should start to flow with ease once again. Remember, it doesn’t work out so well when we pour from an empty cup.
3. Get outside
We live in a rainforest. Our trees emit millions of negative ions which help us recharge our nervous system and make us feel awesome. Also, our backyard is a coveted vacation destination - it is beautiful! Next time you’re feeling stressed out or a little blue, grab your jacket and head outside. Let Mother Nature do her thing!
4. Move your body
Movement truly is medicine. That medicine wheel is a spectrum. If you’re dealing with an acute injury, your movement will start with some simple range of motion. If you’re feeling fit and strong, it’s time to start pushing yourself to the next level. Feeling a little blue? The word emotion broken down means “energy in motion.” The best way to move that energy is to move your body! You'll feel so much better once you’re clear and free.
5. Eat good food
Have you heard the saying, “you are what you eat”? It’s more literal than it sounds. The foods we put in our body start breaking down the minute we put them in our mouths. The saliva in our mouth is primarily there to start the digestion process. As our food moves further along the GI tract, it breaks down to the size of microscopic molecules which then pass through our intestinal membrane to enter our inner world. These molecules flirt and dance with our own bodies’ cells until they unite with cell receptors. These chains of events keep the machine moving along. If we are eating poor quality foods, messages can become skewed. This leads to feelings of lethargy and general un-wellness. On the flip side, if our foods are fresh, whole and healthy, we FEEL fresh whole and healthy! The dance continues and our bodies are set for success. A few guidelines I follow when grocery shopping are:
- Hit the produce section first
- Don’t shop hungry! Have a snack beforehand
- Shop the perimeter (that’s where most of the whole foods are)
- Make a list before going and stick to it
- Read the back of the package and ignore claims made on the front of the package
You are the captain of your vessel. These are only suggestions. Lean in to what calls to you and have fun with it!