As fall approaches many folks start to feel a drop in energy that seems to match the lag of daily sunlight. Some feel a drop in their emotional energy, or find themselves feeling more overwhelmed or stressed. You're not imagining it. Human beings need a certain amount of sunlight every day for physical and nutritional health. And we also need it for our mental health.
Moms need all the energy they can get, and new moms can be hardest hit, because the post baby hormones are on their own schedule altogether. Before running to the doctor or worrying about yourself too much, try some natural ways of recharging your energy and boosting your own morale.
Here are five tips to help you keep your emotional state and your physical energy in a comfortable range as temperatures drop.
1. Go outside every morning as early as you can and get morning sunlight for about half an hour a day. Bring baby with you. If you can't get outside, try to at least spend some time at the window getting outdoor light. The more sunlight you get, the more vitamin D your bodies will make.
Even if it's raining (or snowing) or overcast, this will help to balance your serotonin levels and adjust your circadian rhythm (the natural body cycle that gives us our day/night schedules of wake and sleep). If you live in an area that doesn't get much sun, you might want to consider a vitamin D supplement; or consume more meat, liver, fatty fish and mushrooms.
2. Eat healthy, whole natural foods. Cut sugars, starches and white flour and rice out of your diet.
Eat whole grains. Switch out whole wheat or white bread with Ezekiel bread, or any other flourless sprouted grain bread. You can find them in the freezer at most large groceries. Sprouted grains breads have balanced, natural nutrients, and the sprouting process creates enzymes and other nutrients that give you a natural boost.
Before you worry about supplements, try natural foods that contain B vitamins, like brown rice, nutritional or brewers' yeast, dark green leafy vegetables. Any colorful vegetables are good for your body and your mood. Get enough lean protein and healthy fats, but make sure your plate is about half freshly cooked and/or raw vegetables.
3. Avoid fast food as much as possible. That stuff is designed to affect your system and create an addiction. It bloats you and adds stress to your body functions that contribute to depression.
4. Exercise every day, no matter how bad you feel. Even if the only exercise you get is dodging raindrops during that morning half hour, it will help. If you're stuck in bed, you can still touch your toes, stretch, and do simple Pilates mat exercises like leg circles and leg lifts.
5. Get plenty of sleep. Sleep when your baby or child sleeps. Forget about the house. It'll still be there!