While many yacht crew get to enjoy an endless summer, many more of us will experience some cooler weather, shorter days and less sun this winter. This can affect our health unless we are aware and know how to prepare for it.
Here are five ways yacht crew can beat the winter blues and feel great all season.
- Stay warm. One of my favorite ways to combat the cold during winter is to start my day with a warm drink such as herbal tea. Caffeine can be dehydrating and also create low energy when it wears off, so it’s best to keep caffeine consumption to a minimum, if at all.
Additionally, getting the blood pumping first thing in the morning will also help keep up circulation for the rest of the day. For those who can’t get to the gym or go outdoors, try squats, jumping jacks, pushups and a yoga flow. Not only will you feel great from the adrenaline and serotonin, but you’ll be feeling toasty warm as well.
- Stay hydrated. When the weather gets drier, so does our skin, hair, nose and eyes. While creams and lotions work temporarily the best way to combat dryness is from within. Accomplish this by eating a lot more fresh, raw fruits and vegetables in either their whole state, blended into smoothies or extracted into juices.
Take advantage of seasonal produce such as dark leafy greens, apples, grapes, pears and citrus, which are all hydrating and balancing for the body.
Additionally, don’t forget to drink enough water and decrease the amount of table salt in your diet. When we ingest table salt, our bodies must use the water in our system to dilute it and flush it out, leaving us feeling dehydrated.
Eating foods that naturally are salty such as tomatoes and celery decrease the desire for table salt. Lime and lemon as alternatives to salt are also excellent choices.
For those battling static due to the dryness in the air, try coconut oil on the skin and hair. Put a little on a damp washcloth and toss in the dryer to get rid of static on clothes.
- Stay ahead of SAD
Seasonal Affective Disorder, known as SAD, is a real condition in which the serotonin levels in our brain, other hormones and sleep patterns may be affected due to lack of sunshine. To stay ahead of SAD consider the following:
Light therapy from portable sun lamps can stimulate hormones in the brain. Supposedly, this will help you sleep better, have more energy and make you feel better overall.
Get your Vitamin D level checked. If it is low, your mood will suffer and so will your health. Find a whole food supplement and stay away from cheap alternatives filled with preservatives and chemicals. I like Garden of Life Raw D3.
Get outside daily, no matter the weather. Bundle up and get out during the height of the day. Don’t wear sunglasses so your eyes can absorb the natural light and boost the serotonin in your brain. Plus, the fresh air will lift your mood and help you feel more awake.
- Boost your energy
Exercising, getting to bed early, drinking enough water, eating whole fresh fruits and vegetables, natural light and getting outside are the best ways to keep our energy levels up during winter. Even when we’re not feeling motivated because the days are cooler and darker, remember that it’s much easier to keep up with a healthy routine then to start from scratch.
Do whatever it takes to stay motivated, including making a list of why you want to stay healthy. Get specific and clear about why you want to be healthy and how you’ll do it.
- Love thyself. Loving yourself unconditionally is by far the best way to have a happy life. Sometimes this takes practice and reprogramming yourself to be your own best friend. Try starting each morning by writing a list of what you’re grateful for and the vision you have for who you want to be. Write in the present tense and have fun with it.
Angela Orecchio is a chief stew and certified health coach. This column was edited from her blog, Savvy Stewardess, The Smart Girl’s Guide to Yachting (www.savvystewardess.com). Comments are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.