I hate to break it to you but from now on… the winter’s coming! Sadly, Finnish winter is notorious for being so long and dark that it makes the whole nation moody and depressed. Fear not – I’m here to give you some tips on how to survive the days filled with darkness! Even if you don’t live as north but feel like the winter time makes you moody, keep on reading for my golden rules to feel amazing around the year, despite the weather.
I can’t emphasize it enough – good night’s sleep is essential. It plays a vital role in healthy brain function, emotional well being, daytime performance, and physical health. To me, it’s always been a priority. Lack of sleep makes me unsystematic, dizzy, unfocused, forgetful, impatient… I don’t agree with the expression “there’s plenty of time to sleep in the grave”. I mean – COME ON – I want to be able to take advantage of this life by sleeping well to add quality to the time I spend awake! Would you like to hear a few benefits of sleep to convince you? Here you go!
- Sleep improves your memory during a process called memory consolidation. Practice the newly learned skills while you snooze – super convenient if you ask me!
- Feel more alert, while having increased daily energy levels and sharper attention span.
- Sleep helps you lose weight. Sleep and metabolism are controlled by the same sectors of the brain – certain hormones that regulate appetite have been found to be disrupted by lack of sleep.
- It reduces stress levels. A sleep deficient body starts to produce stress hormones and causes high blood pressure.
- It helps your body repair itself. During sleep, your body is working hard to repair damage caused by stress, ultraviolet rays, and other harmful exposure.
PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT YOU EAT.
Give your body the fuel it needs to be working fully and throughout the whole day. A well-balanced diet provides you with vitamins, minerals and nutrients to keep the body and mind strong and healthy. Eating wholesome food has various health benefits, such as easier weight control, enhanced mood, energy boost, stronger immune system, increased productivity, and so on. Personally, I love eating healthy, nutritious food. Why poison my body with all that junk when I can feel fresh and energetic the whole day? My favorite way to start the morning is to make a delicious smoothie (I’ll share some of my recipes later on) or a banana pancake served with a cup of steaming hot oat milk latte.
Even if it’s cold, rainy and all gross outside – don’t just stick around inside! You may be tempted – again – to skip the gym or jogging because the weather is so bad that you don’t even want to exit your house. But once you do and just get your ass over to do whatever kind of sports you enjoy the most, I’ll GUARANTEE that for the rest of the day (and even the next morning) you will feel so much better than if you hadn’t done it. I do lots of sports but quite often I find myself not wanting to actually get up and go but I am telling you: not a single time did I regret finally going! I definitely did regret skipping exercise, though, and losing the chance to get those endorphins flowing!
START A NEW HOBBY.
I always figure out new stuff to do. It keeps my mind curious. I’ve never been a type of person who’d focus on one or two hobbies but rather someone who’s all over the place, and trust me – it can be something really simple. Like drawing. You just need a pen and a paper. To get it a bit further, start painting. Just find an arts and crafts store, buy a few oil colors and a canvas, and voila!
Alternatively: Sign up for a dance class or try pair acrobatics with your friend. Learn the basic phrases of a language. Learn to take better photographs. Watch a YouTube tutorial and knit a colorful beanie for the winter (been there, done that). Whatever you choose, you will have fun trying out something new, and who knows – you might even find yourself a new passion!
CUT BACK ON ALCOHOL.
Sorry guys. This is something I strongly advise you to do. Especially if you want to contribute to a healthier YOU and reach your goals. Consider these facts: The calories of alcohol have no nutritional value. Every 1g of alcohol has 7 calories – compare to 1g of fat that has 9 calories. When metabolizing alcohol, the liver can’t produce as much glucose, which means you will have low levels of blood sugar. Alcohol disturbs sleep and growth hormones, dehydrates the body, decreases strength, disrupts the body’s coordination, slows down reaction time etc. The effects are comprehensive to your body and mind.
A word of advice: Whenever you manage not to drink at all or just a little – set yourself a goal for the next morning! Something fun to look forward to. Is there a place in your city or nearby you’ve wanted to go to but never had the time? Well, now it’s your time! Is there a friend you haven’t had a chance to meet in a long time? Call them up and set a date to have a brunch together. Whatever you do, just make the most of feeling healthy! 😉
Don’t forget to take it easy sometimes, too. There’s no need to (or at least shouldn’t be) fill your schedules every day and not have a moment to sit back and relax!