Wellness Through the Seasons

Kristen King, M.P.S., CVEP,
WRAP Project Manager,
Advocates for Human Potential, Inc.

We’re ushering in the final days of spring and the beginning of summer here in Colorado, USA, and finally getting a break from the frigid temperatures that come with, well, three out of four seasons in the high country of the Rocky Mountains. After a year in my new home, I’m finally starting to get the hang of the seasonal patterns here—both the ones in the environment and the ones in my body.

Like many people, I have to pay more attention to my wellness in the fall and winter months. For our friends in the southern hemisphere, it’s just about that time! When the weather is colder, we spend more time indoors and get less fresh air and less natural light. For me, that is a major challenge, and it was particularly hard this year after moving from the warm climate of Florida to the freezing cold, high-altitude winter. I had to adjust my schedule and my activities to make sure I could get as much light as possible even when it was cold. If I don’t make those things a priority, my sleep, my energy level, and my mood suffer.

Some of my tricks for the winter months include:

  • Opening the window blinds next to my desk so I get sunlight while I’m working,
  • Using a light box first thing in the morning to simulate natural light on cloudy days or when the weather is too bad to go outside, and
  • Finding reasons to go out if it’s sunny, even when it’s freezing. (I’ve been known to bundle up and walk up and down the alley behind my house just to get some light!)

Now that summer is almost here, I don’t need my light box nearly as much because I’m spending more time outside. In addition to keeping my window blinds open, I also look for opportunities to get out in the daylight several times a day:

  • Instead of bringing the mail inside to sort, I sit on the stoop in front of my house and do it outside.
  • Instead of messing around on my phone when I need a break, I invite my kids to walk up the block with me to see if anything interesting is happening in the neighborhood.
  • I make time to run outside a few days a week (even when I don’t feel like it).
  • I check the local newspaper and social media pages for outdoor group activities in my town and join in whenever I can.
  • I make plans with friends to go for walks or hikes instead of meeting at one of our houses.

The more I make these summer weather activities part of my daily plan and my wellness toolbox, the more I realize they are almost all things I can do even when it is cold or snowy out.

How do you take care of your wellness through the seasons? What are your favorite wellness tips for the season you’re experiencing in your area? Leave a comment on our Facebook page and we may feature your favorite seasonal wellness tool in a future “round-up” article.

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