Tips for Surviving The Winter Blahs
Taking time for sanity is crucial, especially during the winter months when elevated stress hormone levels can be the difference between a productive week and one spent watching daytime courtroom dramas or HGTV with a hundred-and-two degree fever. I don't recommend it. Getting a cold sucks (yes, yogis get sick too!) and the best way to avoid one is to eat right, get enough rest, and drink water. DUH.
Getting enough rest is hard.
Few of us take the time to fully relax before bed, or we spend our last waking moments staring at electronic screens (I'm often guilty of this one). If your habit is to place your phone on a bedside table or near your bed to charge, try plugging it in on the other side of the room or even better, remove electronics from your bedroom entirely.
With shorter days and less daylight you may be feeling more tired, sluggish, or depressed. Exercise anyway. It will clear your mind, and release endorphins in your body that will help you sleep better and feel refreshed later.
Want something more relaxing? Try taking a Yin Yoga class to help prepare your mind and body for a restful night.
WHAT IS IT:
Yin Yoga consists of a series of passive floor poses that typically work the lower part of the body—the pelvis, hamstrings, knees, and lower spine. This relaxing style of yoga helps relieve latent tension in the fascia by holding the asanas for 3 to 5 minutes using various props to help support the body. In my classes, we focus on the whole body as a system, targeting tension in the neck, shoulders, and upper back as well. Come try it-- get hooked.
Sattva Yoga (Redmond)
Thursdays and Sundays @5:45pm (60 min)
Mondays and Wednesdays @5pm (75 min)
As for eating right, that doesn't have to be difficult, OR time consuming. Check out this RECIPE for my favorite soup (zucchini & potato) below, or this super easy crockpot chili from last month. Both are vegan and easy on your wallet!
Take a break
Plan a vacation. FOR YOU. Taking a holiday or taking a break from the stress of normal life is just as important as the daily work you do to stay healthy. It's no secret that the healthiest countries in the world have policies which ensure that their people take time off to spend time with themselves and their loved ones.
Among the top-ranked happiest places on earth according to National Geographic: Costa Rica. "Pura Vida" isn't just a catch phrase, its a way of life. Read more about it in my blog here, or experience it with me first hand at this winter's retreat (December 9-15th) to the rainforests of central Costa Rica. Here we'll learn to slow down, clear off the daily task list and reconnect to the power and wisdom of the jungle - and by extension, our own.
Set a timer for two to three times a day to simply sit back, turn everything off for a few minutes; breathe, and find some gratitude. Watch how it changes your life.
Oh yeah, and eat some soup.
Zucchini & Potato Soup
3 large zucchini, peeled, cubed
2 large russet potatoes, cubed
1 yellow onion, cubed
3-4 cloves of garlic, quartered
1 quart of veggie broth
3 tablespoons FRESH dill, chopped
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp kosher salt, or more to taste
You will need to grate the skin off of the zucchini (cheese grater works great!) and set it aside. Sauté the onion and garlic in a tablespoon of olive oil for 3-4 minutes or until onions have started to become translucent. Add zucchini, potatoes, salt and pepper and stir to mix, cooking for about 3 minutes. Add veggie broth, bring to a boil and then simmer, 20 minutes or until potatoes are soft. When soft, use an immersion blender (safer option) or stand up blender (CAREFUL: HOT SOUP + blender equals DANGER) to bring the soup to a smooth consistency, adding water if needed to thin. DO NOT over blend, soup will become glue-like. Reduce heat to low then add in zucchini peel and stir for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in the dill and serve. Delicious hot or cold!
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