BYE-BYE (SCANDINAVIAN) WINTER BLUES

Groundhog Day comes around every year, and while nature is a hive of activity, with buds bursting and bird building nests, some of us struggle to overcome the winter blues and general sense of lethargy. So what’s the best way to tackle low energy and lassitude? After all, spring is in the air – let’s beat the blues!

It’s a bit of a contradiction: all around, the plants and flowers are budding, the insects are buzzing and the birds chirping, but all you really want to do is go back to bed and sleep for hours on end. And what makes this even more frustrating is that you are usually blessed with high energy levels and there are so many exciting new projects just waiting for you to get started. The days are getting longer, the temperatures are rising – and you feel completely wiped out.

So what causes this paradox condition? The explanation is very simple: as it gets warmer the blood vessels expand, causing blood pressure to plummet. Frequent temperature changes also contribute to a general sense of light-headedness. Also, the body still has reserves of melatonin stored away from the dark season which are gradually being used up: the so-called sleep hormone makes us feel constantly drowsy and need of a nap. Luckily, there are lots of things you can do to beat this tiredness and replenish your energy levels.

The best remedy is exercise!
Brisk exercise gets the blood pumping, rebalances the blood pressure and stretches the muscles. There’s no lack of scientific proof for the benefits of exercise. And for those of us who tend to shy away from hard-core sports, don’t worry: low-intensity exercise is just as effective!

An hour’s brisk walking really shakes up those fat cells – and burns off around 400 kilocalories. A fast walk isn’t just the ideal way to tackle a general sense of tiredness and lethargy, it’s good for your body and also helps to shake off a few of those kilos that seem to have appeared over the winter. The key to power walking is to activate your muscles, bend your elbows and walk at a brisker pace than you would normally. Two power walks a week can work wonders for improving your fitness and losing weight. If you feel you need to step it up slightly, you could consider jogging – but that is entirely up to you.

Come fly with me
No, we’re not talking about paragliding, although we’re pretty sure the adrenaline kick would soon jolt you wide awake. But how about trying something new? Like, for instance, Acro Yoga. This practice is all about flying. It can roughly be described as acrobatics with a partner, where the participants are lifted in static and dynamic movements. It combines aspects of yoga, partner acrobatics and Thai yoga massage, and the practice is all about strength and balance, mobility and coordination. Plus, it’s brilliant fun, a whole new experience and a great opportunity to turn your world upside down!

Follow the energy path outside
Daylight is possibly the most important factor. It doesn’t matter if it’s raining or cloudy, light is probably the best anti-tiredness therapy you can get. Light is a trigger that signals our bodies to get active. At the same time, it resets our 24-hour circadian rhythm and helps us sleep better at night. In other words, shake off that duvet, get moving and soak up as much light as you can. As an added bonus, moving outside in the fresh air is the best time for coming up with the best ideas. Ever heard of a walking meeting? They’re championed by all the big names in Silicon Valley, where many meetings are now conducted while walking outside. Studies have shown that open-air walking meetings are conducive to more creative ideas.
And what goes for work projects also goes for your personal projects. Having nothing but the sky above you really does seem to be good for blue-skies thinking. You’ll find that you can order your thoughts much better and even vague plans shift into the focus you need to get them done. Why not use the idea of a walking meeting for your next lunch break or stroll around the block with a colleague; take some fruit, a sandwich or a RAWBITE bar – and literally let your thoughts wander!

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