I live in the northeast and I’m happy to report that the days are finally getting a little bit longer. That said, even this mild winter is a long one. Every night I find myself wanting to curl up on the couch and eat warm, bready things. It turns out that this is normal because of our wiring – probably to keep us alive all winter long back when we were living outside. So don’t blame yourself or your “lack of willpower” for wanting to eat and sleep more. We do however have to look at our rhythms if we are trying not to overeat every day.
Here are some suggestions for where to put your effort:
Get up with the sun! Having more sunlight in your life will improve mood and set your natural rhythms to work correctly.
Practice in the morning. Asana, breath connection, prayer, meditation, music listening. Whatever starts your day in a centered, positive way will help clear your mind of the extra stress that the winter doldrums can create.
Go outside. Even if it’s an extra 3 minutes outside in front of your home or office.
Go to bed earlier. Give into being more tired and stop trying to keep yourself awake with food.
Drink more water. Especially if you spend all day inside dry, heated environments.
Practice smiling (even if you feel unhappy). It turns out that the act of smiling dumps happy chemicals into the brain.
Try some or all of these suggestions. Anything that you can do to promote a sense of well being will likely translate into less intense food cravings. Using your energy to add simple positive acts to your daily rhythm is your best bet for managing the more difficult eating behaviors.
May we all find light this month,