Sometimes it’s hard not to fall into the BLAH-trap this time year. The cold, dark days can make everything a challenge, particularly the ability to keep up with a healthy living plan.
While the 7am yoga class seems great when looking at the schedule from my cozy couch the night before, the reality of that pre-sunrise session which requires commuting in the 17° temps is not nearly as enticing. And don’t even get me started on my morning runs. Or rather lack of morning runs.
So yes, the intention is there — to take care of yourself, but the circumstances of life get in the way. Whether it’s the cold weather or a busy schedule, often the path of living well is impeded, sometimes to the point of total derailment. Couple that with the fact of being off track since the holidays, it may feel like a long haul back to the healthier version of yourself.
But there are a few simple things you can do. You don’t have to do all of them, see if you can find at least one or two…think small steps towards big change.
Here are 7 To-Dos to Find Your Way Back To A Lighter, Brighter You
1. Hot Yoga
I’ve praised the glory of hot yoga here before, but that was in the spring. Now with the freezing temps, it’s even better –> a total AH for the body. The deep sweat that occurs in these classes allows me to literally watch the toxins drip away which feels like the ultimate cleanse (even more so after my post class shower!). Plus being in the extreme heat is warming to the bones in a way that stays with me well after savasana.
2. Chill Out In A Sauna Or Steam Room
If hot yoga gets a big thumbs down from you (which it did from me for many years), then try sweating it out in a sauna or steam room. It has the same cleansing effect that gets the skin glow going along with an increased blood flow throughout the body. You will definitely feel lighter after spending time in there.
3. Take A Fitness Class
While moving your body is an obvious answer to getting lighter and brighter, taking class with others has the added benefit of participating in a group energy. Also, there may be more motivation if you go with a friend, and turn it into a social connection by having coffee or tea afterwards.
4. Stream Some Exercise At Home
The only issue I have with those fitness classes is that little thing called a schedule. Finding the right time can be a P*I*A! If you aren’t able to fit something in, then bring the class to your home. A lot of the studios offer streaming services, so for a small fee you can have access to those teachers and workout with them. A friend was telling me she has great experiences streaming her barre class, and in the yoga world, pretty much every celebrity teacher offers some form of instruction online.
5. Go Liquid For A Meal
Juice fasting in the cold is just wrong so I wouldn’t go there. But if you’re looking to lighten up you can still cleanse your eating. Try replacing one meal with a nourishing soup or a nutrient packed smoothie. You’ll get the satisfaction of a meal while giving your digestive system a break. If you’re feeling super enthusiastic, you could do this for an entire day. Also, there’s nothing wrong with drinking juice in the winter, in fact I recommend having a green juice in between meals. It’ll not only boost your energy, it’ll brighten your skin.
6. Limit Alcohol
I wanted to include caffeine in this category because I’ve read about the merits of quitting coffee. But that’s simply not do-able for me– particularly during these cold, dark days. But alcohol, on the other hand, has been much easier for me to forgo. Since I’ve cutback, I’ve noticed a definite improvement in my skin, along with way more clarity overall in my day to day.
7. Supplement Your Skin With Oil
I raved about my experience using coconut oil on my face a few months back, but now that it’s winter…it’s working overtime. It’s hard for me to imagine that I was once put off of using face oil because of my acne prone skin. It does not make me break out at all. My skin looks so much better! You could also try olive oil, almond oil, jojoba, or rose hips as well if any of those appeal. The result of more nourished skin helps show the brighter you from from within.
How do you get back to the lighter, brighter you?