The days are finally starting to get longer. The weather is changing for the better. And, the grass is finally beginning to green again. All these things point to one exciting event — spring is here!
But before you can fully enjoy the brighter temperatures, you have to overcome the winter blues. Whether you still find yourself clouded by a sense of seasonal depression or just don’t feel the sense of vitality that you desire, that’s all about to change.
Are you ready to pop out of bed each morning and enjoy the new, energizing spring weather? Try a few of these tips to banish the lethargy of winter and get your mind and body ready for spring.
Eat a Healthy Diet
If you’re not getting the right nutrients, your body will feel fatigued, no matter what time of year. Eating foods that have high fiber, like whole grains, provide energy more gradually — as opposed to sugars and carbs, which may produce a burst of energy, but leave you feeling the lag shortly after.
For sustained energy, try eating small meals and snacks every few hours, instead of three large meals. When you’re tired or busy, it’s easy to reach for unhealthy snacks. Instead, replace the sugary junk food and processed snacks with nuts, fruits, and vegetables. Ditch that afternoon coffee break for a cup of green tea, which is full of antioxidants and provides the energy boost you need to finish your day — without the insomnia-inducing effects of late-afternoon caffeine consumption.
Work on a Regular Sleep Schedule
Sticking to a consistent sleep schedule can enhance your body’s natural circadian rhythm — which, in turn, will make you feel more energized throughout the day and will help create less fluctuation between your periods of alertness and fatigue.
Here are a few ways to improve your sleep naturally:
- Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, including on weekends.
- Avoid taking naps during the day.
- Don’t drink caffeine after 3 p.m.
- Expose yourself to bright sunlight in the morning to decrease your body’s sleep hormone, melatonin.
Getting a good night’s rest will promote your energy levels and help you feel more awake throughout the day.
Drink Plenty of Water
Water is quite literally the stuff of life! It enhances your performance in every area. And it’s free! Skip the sugary sports drinks and buy a reusable water bottle — or several. Keep one on your desk at work, one in your car and one by your bedside. One of the first signs of dehydration is fatigue, so one of the easiest ways to combat being tired is to hydrate your body.
The rule of thumb goes that you should drink eight eight-ounce glasses of water per day or about half a gallon. Others suggest you should sip water constantly, even if you’re not thirsty. The easiest thing to do is let thirst be your guide. If your body’s natural water levels get too low, thirst kicks in, so listen to it. But stay away from sodas, which are full of sugar and will only give you a temporary energy boost before an eventual crash.
Use Good Lighting in Your Home
Having a well-lit home can also improve your energy. Light that is too blue, too bright or feels artificial can have negative impacts on your overall health. Choosing the right lighting not only revitalizes your space — it can also boost your energy levels.
Good lighting improves your wakefulness and productivity. Quality interior lighting and access and exposure to natural sunlight can significantly upgrade your quality of life, and thus provide more energy for you throughout the day and during evening hours.
Cut Back on Screen Time
Many people turn on the TV in the evening as a way to unwind and relax. However, watching TV isn’t exactly a restful activity. Responding to emails, watching action-packed shows or playing certain games can cause your brain to release the stress hormone cortisol. Also, screens emit light that your body mistakes for daylight and prevents the release of melatonin.
Both these things negatively impact your ability to get a good night’s sleep. So limit your screen time in the evenings, and avoid screens altogether for the two hours before you go to bed. Instead, read a book, talk to a friend or your partner, go for a walk or even drink a glass of wine.
If you can’t separate yourself from your device, apply a blue light filter setting to your phone to help curb the effects of screen time before sleep.
Say Hello to Spring
Getting ready for spring involves more than just cleaning out the dust of winter. It involves a whole transformation of body and mind. Besides these five tips, consider working out regularly, starting a meditation practice and taking a multivitamin to help round out your health routine. Ringing in the new season by adopting at least a few of these habits will ensure you’re energized, rested, hydrated and ready to take on the new season.