Getting Through Winter: Battle for Sleep, your Waistline, and Mental State

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Have you felt the nip of winter in the air and thought “Oh Lord, winter is here.” Winter can be a difficult time, with the nipping cold keeping us stuck in doors. But, there is a little excitement when we realize that there will be delicious foods during this season, until we remember we can no longer eat them like we are 12 and still expect to fit into our clothes.

Winters can be tough not only on the waste line, but on the mental front too. It's easy to let the cold keep you in, the lack of sun to keep you down, and the use of winter treats to comfort your blues. We have all come out of winter desperate for the sun and needing to lose some weight.

Winter has a lot of positives to look forward to though, like snow, no bugs, early nights, holidays, and fires in the fire place. If you can learn to indulge a bit in what winter has to offer and keep in mind a few tips, winter could be more bearable.


First lets talk about sleep. The sun sets early and rises later, so waking up later and going to bed earlier feel like the right thing to do. And they are. We are mammals and our bodies are aware of the change in seasons. Cut yourself some slack and sleep in a little or change your wake up time.

I personally have the hardest time waking up when its dark outside even if I have been doing it for awhile and that's okay. I should listen to my body. A little extra sleep helps me make better choices when I wake up.


Second is water! Drink it! All the time, a lot of it. With the heat on we are going to be drying out like raisins. Drinking water can help you stay more alert and actually stop the yawns when they hit.  When I wake up I try to start with a glass of water to replenish my system. Its a good way to awaken my system.

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Onward to food!! Food during the winter always turns into an indulgent fatty, sweet overload, with all the holidays, and comfort foods. This definitely doesn't help with the lethargy we are already feeling. Or the mental blues that set in. But how do you combat the temptation? You don't. You allow yourself to indulge a little. Enjoy your treat and remember to have plenty of vegetables. If I know I want to have a scrumptious piece pie for dessert I will put extra veggies on my plate and have less of the rest of dinner. You know yourself and how much you can indulge before its too much and your waste line begins to feel it. 

Don’t let going to food be your way of helping comfort your blues or boredom in the winter. There are tons of activities inside and out to do during the winter. Ice skating, walking around with a hot cup of coco, sledding, have a potluck at a friends house, read a book at coffee shop and enjoy a warm tasty beverage.


A big part of battling lethargy and the winter blues is continuing to workout. Keep staying active. I know especially during the winter leaving your warm house to the cold to workout is daunting and leads to skipping the gym, frequently. So, if you really won't leave the house do a workout at home - yoga, weights, or calisthenics. You can still get in a good workout everyday and not leave your house for the gym. Also, think about quick workouts for the morning and evening. It can wake you up and give you some happy endorphins.


Lastly, leave the house. Something about the recycled air at home is not a motivator to stay awake, but to get comfortable and take naps. Make plans and keep them. I know I don't like coming home in the winter to leave my house again. So, I make plans right after work. We all need to have time with family and friends. It stimulates us and can provide a bigger benefit in our mental and emotional state. 

Winter doesn’t have to be a tiresome season. It can be a time to practice healthy habits and still indulge in the winter treats. What are you doing to stay awake and joyful during winter?