Column: How to beat those winter month blues

Published 11:50 am Tuesday, January 4, 2005

By Staff
It happens every year, the holidays come and go, and the winter month blues set in. People begin to feel depressed and sluggish. No one wants to go out in the cold weather to get his or her exercise in. People are more tired, more inactive, and eat more. What is there to do? Here a few helpful suggestions to activate a positiveness to get you through those tired, energy less winter months.
Instead of grabbing that fourth cup of coffee to get you going, why not use exercise for energy? Go for a walk, join a fitness center, or try out an aerobics class. Regular physical activity will help with tiredness. It is too easy to just grab a cup of coffee. When you are tired, caffeine will only give you a temporary jolt of energy, but then it wears off. Why not try something that is good for you and will help with the long-term effects? A good workout can help with your alertness, tension, stress and anxiety. Unlike caffeine, a good workout can help with a good night's sleep and offer many positive health benefits. So the next time your energy level feels low try a workout.
Proper Eating
Another component, which affects fatigue and tiredness, is the food a person consumes. Many times a person will feel very exhausted after they have lunch. Usually around 1 p.m. they will hit a wall. How do you help this? A lot of it could have to do with what a person is eating. If it is greasy, sweet or high sodium foods, then that is probably the main enemy in your after lunch state of tiredness. Try for a few days to eat better at lunchtime and see how you feel after. If after a healthy lunch, you are still hungry, try a healthy snack. Baby carrots are a good choice. You can eat many of them and the crunchy noise will help you stay awake. A well balanced diet will help with fatigue and irritability associated with low blood sugar levels, hunger and that over-stuffed exhausted feeling.
Sleep! This is something many of us do not get enough of! If fatigue is a problem lack of sleep may be a main component. Many times the busy person will steal precious minutes of sleep away to do other things. A few shortened nights of sleep can dampen your energy level and cause major fatigue especially when you are in high demand of energy and time. Rest assure that proper sleep will help to restore your missing energy. It is better to get proper sleep and put some things off to the next day. The more energy you have the better you will perform your daily tasks. If you have more free time during the day, sneak in a nap. It is a great way to get rejuvenated.
Stress can wipe a person out of energy. Look for warning signs so you can tackle it right away. Headaches, over and under eating, loss of focus, confusion, etc. Try coping with things a little at a time. Ask yourself, is it really worth worrying about and will worrying make it any better. Figure out where the stress is coming from and address it. You feel too busy? Look at what you can do to slow down and still make yourself happy! Take deep breaths and take a moment to yourself when you feel pressure or stress coming on. Do not let stress zap your energy!
Prioritize your schedule. Make what is most important to your life and what makes you feel the best your first priorities. It is your job to make your body as healthy and functional as possible. If your body gets sick then you are put even more behind. If you have too much going on, slow it down. Decide what you should do, want to do, and what needs to be postponed.
If you are unsure or leery about beginning a workout program, the YMCA has personal training sessions. It is a great way to learn our machines and the proper techniques to workout safely! Come on in and give it a try!
Thought of the week: 250,000 is the number of deaths per year attributed to lack of exercise. -American Cancer Society and American Heart Association.
Do not forget registration deadline for adult volleyball and racquetball leagues is Jan. 11.