NEW YORK — The arrival of colder months, with shorter days and more indoor activities, can take a toll on people’s physical and mental health. During the winter many may feel lower spirits, less energy and even miss their loved ones more.
In our area it can feel more difficult due to the lack of sunshine and the frigid temperatures of the New York region after the pace of summer days. Kicking off the holiday season with holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas can help you feel better and brighten your spirits, but many times it takes more than that.
Having the tools to avoid negative thoughts and have a better mood can be the key to not falling into depression.
For this reason, Telemundo 47 spoke with the coach of well-being and creativity Juliana Sánchez Trujillo who offered us different recommendations to feel good and lift our spirits during the season.
What activities can I do? How should I feed myself? These are questions that Juliana Sánchez answers, but before she reminds us that there is no need to apply all the tips at the same time for it to work.
“You don’t have to do everything, you don’t have to apply them all at the same time,” said the coach Juliana Sanchez Trujillo. “I would say start with one, with just one thing that changes there will already be a significant change.”
In addition, he also advises looking for the things that we like so as not to be discouraged when changing habits. For example, looking for exercise that we like or cooking delicious food for our palate.
Finally, always remember what our motivation is.
“Above all, having a why, why am I doing this? When my goal is clear and significant, I commit to myself, I am true to myself, but when my goal is not so clear or important at that time, we leave it. When we find the motivation, we maintain the discipline.”
“When we find the motivation, we maintain the discipline.”
— Juliana Sanchez Trujillo, Wellness and creativity coach.
Here we share the recommendations of the coach Juliana Sánchez to maintain good emotional and mental health during the winter.
Juliana Sánchez Trujillo refers to lifestyle as the habits that we can implement to find that balance that generates a state of well-being. These practices are part of what is known as primary nutrition, that is, everything that is not related to eating. For example, exercising, how much contact we are having with other people or if we have any spiritual practice.
Here we are going to explain some habits that you can implement.
HAVE A SPIRITUAL PRACTICE
Having a spiritual practice is very important, Sánchez told us. For example, taking time to pray or to reformulate who you are. That space for ourselves, to reflect and understand what we feel helps to heal and manage feelings.
“In the winter we are like in a state of scourge that influences those feelings of depression” and having a spiritual practice helps in the process.
Another practice is meditation.
HAVE A GRATITUDE PRACTICE
Sometimes in the winter one misses many activities that they do in the summer. However, making a change in our thoughts and being grateful for what we have at the moment can help us feel better.
“When the mind appreciates what we have today, there is more fullness, more satisfaction and it generates a better state of mind.”
— Juliana Sánchez Trujillo, Wellness and Creativity Coach.
“It is about redirecting the mind and focusing it on what we have, on what is working, because when the mind appreciates what we have today there is more fullness, more satisfaction and it generates a better state of mind. Many times depression and Anxiety comes from focusing on what we don’t have and not what makes us happier,” said Juliana Sánchez.
THE MOVEMENT OF THE BODY
The movement of our body is an important tool to feel happy. Juliana Sánchez reminds us that you don’t necessarily have to go to a gym or get up early to go for a run, but rather allow your body to move.
For example, walking, dancing around the house, doing yoga. “That also helps a lot in maintaining good mental health.”
Do not lose contact with our family and friends. Summer is a time that is characterized by the different activities in which we share with our loved ones, a routine that should not be lost in winter.
Having a support group is healthy for the body and soul.
There are many ways to stay connected with the ones you love, from a call to meeting them for a cookout.
“Today, because we want to be more productive, we sacrifice a lot of sleep and we don’t have good habits,” said Juliana Sánchez. “We take sleep for granted and it is the most basic and accessible remedy we have because sleep is worthless.”
“We take sleep for granted and it is the most basic and accessible remedy we have because sleep is worthless.”
— Juliana Sanchez Trujillo, Wellness and creativity coach.
That is why we recommend:
- Turn off appliances one hour before bedtime.
- Try to sleep with good dark conditions that allow our body to produce good melatonin. Especially since the sleep cycle is weird in the winter with not so much light.
Food is secondary nutrition, as Juliana Sánchez explains. This has to go hand in hand with primary food.
Juliana pointed out that consuming foods rich in magnesium, B complex, vitamin D and Omega 3 can help maintain a good mood and energy during the cold weather season. In addition, she also recommended adaptogenic foods.
Also, drinking bone broth helps people because it has a lot of minerals for the body to replenish itself.
NOTE: For supplements always consult the doctor before consuming them.
Here we explain some of those foods in each category.
Foods that contain magnesium
Magnesium helps a lot to relax, sleep well and helps the brain to function properly.
- dark chocolate or dark chocolate: Cocoa has a good level of magnesium. It must be cocoa above 60% in order to have a good amount of magnesium.
- Pumpkin seeds.
- flax seed or Flax Seed.
Consuming more vitamin B is essential for the body. This is because stress steals all the B vitamins in order to balance that stress or sadness, Juliana Sánchez told us. Not having complex B affects cognitive conditions.
- Cow milk.
- Sweet potato.
Vitamin D is obtained through fish and sun exposure.
Trying to go out to sunbathe in the morning hours is the best option, said Juliana Sánchez. This is how our body produces vitamin D.
The body does not absorb omega 3 as well when it comes from plant sources compared to when it comes from animal sources. One thing is when you consume it and another that the body absorbs it.
Main sources of omega 3, better animal sources:
- Chia seeds.
- Cane seeds.
- Ashwagandha: Helps the body fight stress.
- Schisandra: Helps people be more productive.
what foods to avoid
- Reduce sugar consumption: Sugar can cause depression.
- Avoid refined sugar.
- Avoid refined grains.
- Avoid junk food.
Here you can also find other options shared by the New York State Department of Mental Health.
Here you can find information on how to take care of mental health and seek help in the tri-state area.