5 Easy Ways to Shift Your Body out of Winter Mode and Into Spring Action
I am so happy it is March, which means Spring is around the corner.
Sometimes I feel like winter is simply about survival:
Make it through another cold and grey day.
Try and get everything that needs to be done with my slight brain fog.
Try and feel awake even though I feel more sleepy and it gets dark early at night.
Live with increased carb cravings and mild weight gain.
Can you relate?
These are all common experiences of living through the winter months. I’ve learned not to fight my deeper desires for rest and my tighter clothes. I've relaxed a bit into my decreased work momentum. I’ve even learned how to respond to increased cravings for sugar and treats. This is all part of winter living and my (and your) body is doing exactly what it needs to do.
But…you know what?
I love getting out of survival mode. I love shifting into spring and summer energy where I feel enlivened, fresh, new, and ready to take things to the next level.
How have you been this winter? Have you just been making it from day to day? Have the days felt like a battle for you?
Come spring, do you find your energy levels increase, your engagement with work and life expand, and notice your body physique alter as the weather and light shifts?
It feels great, right?
Here are 5 ways to support your body with the seasonal shifts ahead:
1. Stop the battle with your body for any winter weight gain you might have experienced in the past few months. If you’ve put on 5-10 pounds this winter, then your body did exactly what it needed to do. This is a normal mammalian process to support thermal needs of the body in colder climates. Trust your body instead of fighting it. A mental battle against your increased weight will ultimately backfire by creating a hormonal stress chemistry in your body which leads to even more weight gain.
2. Begin to eat a lot of fresh spring veggies (especially greens) to support the cleansing process your body yearns to go through in the spring. The earth naturally produces many green leafy veggies in early spring for us to eat. These leafy greens support the purifying processes of the body…moving accumulated toxins and debris from our cells, tissues, and organs.
3. Consider a gentle detox with nourishing, clean foods this season. This is not a time to do an extreme fast (meaning a regimen with little to no food involved). These types of intense fasting practices can actually be very demanding and stressful on the body. Additionally, your body has been slower and your detox organs have been sluggish with some possible congestion. An intense detox will only congest these sleepy pathways even more with the potential of making you feel worse. A gentle detox on the other hand means eating nourishing clean food (i.e. lots of fresh veggies, farm fresh eggs, traditional fats like coconut oil and avocados, whole meats from local farmers, fish, etc), removing processed foods, taking a break from sugars and caffeine, and using some short term supportive supplements to help the detox pathways clean things out more efficiently.
4. Move more in ways you love. Just as the earth is awakening and becoming more active and productive, our bodies are getting ready to move more as well. Movement helps us get out of our hibernation mode, it gets stagnant body fluids moving, and raises energy levels.
5. Start spending at least 15 minutes in the sun each day between 10am and 3pm for peak Vitamin D exposure. By the time March comes around your Vitamin D levels are usually quite low. Starting in March you can begin to build Vitamin D stores by spending a few minutes outside each day with as much skin exposed as possible given the temperature and your comfort level. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin meaning that our bodies actually store it up in our livers and fatty tissues to use as needed. Also, when I say sun exposure I mean using no sunblock as sunscreens prohibits your body from synthesizing Vitamin D from your skin exposure to the sun.
Do you have any special practices that you like to do each spring to get you out of your winter-mode? If so, I'd love to hear about them below.