Posted in health & wellness, loreeebee.ca, mental health, nature, nutrition

4 Ways to up your Mood when the Weather is Down

This article was originally posted on Higher Dose, and modified for a guest post here on Loreeebee.

It’s officially #PSL season, which means it’s time to put on our cozy knits, binge watch Netflix, light a million candles, and excitedly cancel plans with friends. Even though we all look to fall and winter as a time to get hygge, the novelty of the season can wear off quickly as the days get shorter and the weather gets colder, lowering our moods and affecting our health.

People often joke about “winter blues” and Seasonal Affective Disorder, but it’s actually a diagnosable type of depression that is prompted by cold weather and less sunlight, affecting 5% of Americans.

How does this happen? 

It’s not all in your head!

The sun naturally releases a broad spectrum of light throughout the day to help signal our body’s many functions. In the morning and afternoons, we take in more blue light to release cortisol, so we have the energy to be more productive. In the evenings, we’re meant to start winding down with red light and infrared as a way to prompt our melatonin production to facilitate better sleep.

When the days are shorter and colder, we’re taking in less energy-giving light, nutrient-dense vitamin D (which is necessary for immune function), and fewer healing vibrations from nature’s fresh air, resulting in lower energy, chronic fatigue, increased hunger, and interrupted sleep.  Plain and simple: Good, nourishing recovery is a lot harder to achieve.

Don’t let this info get you down. Here are some quick and easy ways to hack your mood as the seasons change.

Get a DOSE of happy vibes

Happiness comes from the feel-good chemicals in our brains:

Dopamine: A hormone and neurotransmitter that stimulates the nervous system functions like pleasure and attention.

Oxytocin: Aka the “love hormone” that decreases stress and anxiety levels.

Serotonin: A neurotransmitter that is often released by the sun and infrared light therapy. It’s essential for balancing mood, memory, sleep, and sexual desire

Endorphins: A group of hormones that reduce pain and increase pleasure and overall well being. They are often released during exercise, hence the term, “a runner’s high.”

Hot Tip: If you’re in NYC, zen out in one of our warm, soothing saunas for a serotonin-releasing moodlifter. At home instead? No problem! Cocooning yourself in our Infrared Sauna Blanket will release your endorphins without ever having to move a muscle. Burning ~600 calories during one single sweat session, your body will feel like it worked out while staying relaxed AND detoxified. Better circulation, mood, and glowing skin are a plus.

Use a light box

Light boxes, along with infrared therapy, are a popular treatment option for seasonal affective disorder.

There are a broad spectrum of light therapies:

Sunlamps  Improve Vitamin D absorption and increase overall energy levels
Red Light Therapy Focuses more on deeply-penetrating muscles and tissues to calm the skin, manage hormone production, and boost the immune system


If you can’t spend 30 minutes or more in the sun per day and are faced with a dark sky when you wake up in the morning, consider a light therapy box first-thing when you wake up to help get your body on a normal schedule.

Get good vibrations from nature

The Japanese practice something called shinrin-yoku, which translates to forest-bathing. “But how do I bathe in a forest?!” Don’t take it literally.

It’s just the act of being in nature and connecting to yourself through your senses. It helps to reduce stress levels, lower blood pressure to relax the body and focus the mind.

The reason being in nature is considered such a healing, mood-boosting activity is because plants release the chemical, phytoncide, which has antibacterial and antifungal qualities that can increase our white blood cells and help strengthen our immune response to foreign invaders.

Nature also gives off literal good vibrations. The Earth has a natural frequency of 7.8hz, which sends low-level frequency through our bodies to help recharge our cells and heal us from the inside out.

If you don’t live near nature, or it’s too cold to go outside, consider:

  • Keeping plants inside your home for at-home plant benefits
  • Try our Infrared PEMF Mat, which uses PEMF, infrared heat, and Negative Ion Therapy to send Pulsed Electromagnetic Frequency throughout your body. Go deeper with your DOSE while getting the ultimate recharge.

Skip comfort eating

Like bears who eat more as they prepare to hibernate during the winter months, we too get excited to indulge as the weather gets colder.

BUT, managing seasonal depression and keeping your mood HIGH starts with eliminating sugar when you can.

Refined starches and carbs that lack fiber and are high-glycemic can directly impact your hormones, which directly affects your happy chemicals. Your gut manages the majority of the hormone production in your body and sends direct messages to your brain. you consume sugar, you end up feeding bad bacteria in your gut that can throw the chemicals in your brain off-balance.

Sticking with whole foods that are nutrient-dense is ideal, but if you do decide you want to get into the goodies, try one of these detoxes to reset your system and get back on track.

Conclusions

This guest post fits in well with my theme as many of these points have been discussed previously on Loreeebee. For many of us, our mental health is taking a beating during the pandemic. Nature is a huge part of my life, as is nutrition. Research tells us that nature, nutrition and mental health go hand in hand.

If you decide to try the infrared sauna blanket, please use my referral code to save us both some money. I’m hoping Santa reads this; I would love one!

Posted in current events, lorieb.com

Christmas is coming soon according to Home Depot

 

Since Thanksgiving (here in Canada) and Remembrance Day are over, the calendar says Christmas is next.  Mother Nature has not been told yet however; we continue to have unseasonably warm weather here in Eastern Ontario, and I for one am not complaining.

Home Depot is ready though with lots of Christmas specials on…

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I usually wait until the beginning of December at least to start decorating, but I know lots of you do so sooner. Enjoy!

please be sure to visit my slightly more humorous blog YOUR DAILY CHUCKLE  It is guaranteed to make you LOL.

Posted in health and wellness, loreeebee.ca, Ottawa

Cold Weather, can one be Allergic to it?

photo credit: Ruvim Miksanskiy, pexels.com

I am seriously starting to wonder if I am allergic to this cold weather we have been experiencing here in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.  This picture of the weather forecast was taken last Sunday, but it has been this cold for a long time now, and I don’t mind saying I am getting tired of it.

My body is not coping well with the cold, so it makes it difficult to want to go outside for anything that is not absolutely necessary. The cold is wreaking havoc with my fourth New Year’s resolution to get more exercise since walking is usually my main form of exercise between November and March. To remedy this, I have taken up doing planks which are great for my muscles, especially the core muscles, but don’t contribute to the cardiovascular exercise I need. 

I know cold can aggravate conditions like Raynaud’s Phenomenon where blood flow is restricted to the body’s extremities when they get cold.  Cold can also aggravate arthritis causing joint painMy problem is neither of these conditions.  My whole body seems to ache when I get cold.  If my feet get cold, the aching pain starts in my feet and ankles, but then moves up my legs to my hips too.  The pain actually feels like my bones are aching.  Sitting in a cold car or cold hockey arena watching my son play can easily set the aching off.  When this happens I find heat and advil are the only remedies.  I purchased a click heat pad recently; it works great…

You simply press the small metal disc that is floating inside the heating pad to activate it.  As soon as the disc is pressed, the pad heats up and gets firm.  It stays warm for hours, so you can move it around to heat all of your achy body parts.  When it cools off, all you have to do is place the pad in boiling water to return it to its liquid state. 

 Click Heat comes in many shapes, colors and sizes. If you think you may be allergic to cold weather too, pick up your heat pad.

Posted in current events, nature

Snow, snow and more snow…

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I have been using snow shoveling as my main form of exercise this winter, but the snow banks are now so high I cannot risk injuring my 53+ year old back by throwing the newly accumulated snow to the tops of the banks.  So today I shoveled the snow to the sides of my driveway and tried to start our snow blower to blow the piled snow over the banks.  Unfortunately i could not get the darned snow blower started (as is often the case with this beast) so left the snow piles along the edges of my driveway for one of my sons or husband to finish off when they return from work.

Imagine my surprise when, coming out of the shower, I heard a noise much like that of a snow blower outside my house.  I looked out the window to see my neighbor from a few doors down blowing the snow piles over the banks with his snow blower.  He must have heard my futile attempts at starting our snow blower.

We have a few recently retired gentlemen on our street that have been wonderful at helping their neighbors blow out their driveways this winter.  It is especially heart warming and greatly appreciated after the snow plough has gone by and left a huge pile of snow chunks at the bottom of the driveways.

Posted in current events, nature

Living in a Winter Wonderland…

The weather forecast had warned us we were about to get our first big snowfall of the season, but when I went to bed last night we hardly had any snow, so I thought the storm had missed the Ottawa area.  These are the views I woke up to this morning…

 

out my front door:

 

 

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and out my back door:

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Beautiful, but lots of work to shovel!