The New Year provides a wonderful opportunity for us to balance and recharge after the rush of the holidays with all of its festivities. We may not feel our “bright-eyed bushy-tailed selves” after a good month of revelry, with less than ideal eating and sleeping while burning the candle at both ends. Our brain health and mood are very much impacted by how we live day-to-day and extreme changes of lifestyle.
For some people, slowing down after the holiday can seem like a relief and welcomed change of pace. Combined with the extreme cold of deep winter and shortened daylight, for others, it can seem rather uninspiring and melancholy. We have been so conditioned to the fast pace of life, that we may have difficulty attuning to the slow, quiet, internal nature of winter, with its signal to slow down and move inward.
The winter season can bring about a need to explore ways to balance and harmonize our cycle with nature in a way that we can rest, restore and regenerate. Winter is a wonderful time to simplify and get back to basics. This can be as simple as getting enough sleep and staying hydrated while taking time to slow down and relax, which is something our culture is not known for. This does not mean we become lethargic, as maintaining some movement is still very important.
Promote Healthy Mood and Brain Health by:
- Having adequate oxygen levels – deep breathing, open the windows even in winter!
- Maintaining adequate sleep – do what you need to do to support good sleep.
- Staying active – exercise, yoga and stretching, or try winter walks and winter sports.
- Diet, nutrition and water intake – keep it clean and healthy! Watch your sugar.
- Gut health and overall body toxicity – good assimilation of food, healthy elimination.
- Exposure to sufficient sunlight – get outdoors in daylight (even in the winter), full-spectrum light bulbs also work great!
- A scalp massage – therapeutic massage of the scalp can stimulate energy points, release tension and elicit changes in the blood flow, allowing for more efficient waste drainage while we sleep.
- Allowing downtime to relax, restore and regenerate – engaging in things such as reading, a nap, hot bath or a cup of tea. Try an infrared sauna or even a full body massage!
- Finding quiet time to meditate and turn inward – helps to calm and center yourself.
- Cultivating healthy relationships – loving supportive relationships can be very healing.
- Smiling – just the act of smiling makes your body alkaline and activates hormones.
- Laughing – stimulates the diaphragm muscles which move the lymph in the belly, it also raises your mood.
- Living with an attitude of gratitude – give thanks for every breath we take.
- Doing something nice for someone, helping others – giving and service to others.
- Staying in the present moment – surrendering, letting go of old hurts, forgiving, moving on.
- Doing things that make you feel happy and fulfilled – it can even be a hobby or a creative outlet.
While everything on the list is significant, having adequate oxygen levels is crucial. Oxygen is critical to brain function and consequently the body as a whole. Taking time to do deep breathing exercises can be very helpful. Besides raising oxygen levels in the body, breathing activates the lymphatic system. From an Ayurvedic (holistic) perspective, the lymphatic system can potentially clear 3 pounds of toxic debris from the brain in 1 year. Imagine that! Both movement and deep breathing help the lymphatic system to function optimally, and there are even new studies that link a lack of body movement to early dementia (and depression).
Another consideration is that our homes are generally insulated and “airtight”, so even in January you can crack a window or two for a few minutes to freshen the air. The average person spends 6-8 hours in their bedroom and displacing the carbon dioxide generated there with fresh air and oxygen can be very beneficial, especially in winter. You can freshen your whole house every so often throughout the winter months.
Making sure you get adequate sleep is also very important. Studies show that while the brain is in the deep REM state, the body assists the brain to eliminate and detoxify. Good deep sleep is revitalizing to many of your organs, as your body also does most of the repair work while you sleep.
While lifestyle choices can contribute many positive effects to brain health and mood, many natural products can support you.
New Wellness Products to Support Brain Health, Mood and Cognition at Heinen’s
- Holy Basil: for maintaining emotional well-being and supporting a positive mood. (Also known as Tulsi.)
- Mood Uplift: Supports healthy mental and emotional well-being and helps the body cope with daily stress.
- Agile Mind: Supports healthy brain function and helps to maintain healthy recall.
- Nutropic Focus: Supports healthy concentration.
- Sound Sleep: Supports a quick transition to sleep.
- Sleep Thru: Supports sleeping through the night.
NOW Essential Oils
- Atlas Cedar
- Balsam Fir Needle
- Pine Needle
The conifer oils are helpful with revitalizing your energy from mental or emotional fatigue or nervous exhaustion, while also supporting relaxation and emotional balance. They are air purifying and great for stressed muscles and joints, as well as respiratory issues and have anti-inflammatory properties.
- Performance Tea Full Spectrum CBD with Adaptogenic Herbs: Recovery and Sleep (Loose Powders)
- Ancient Nutrition Full Spectrum CBD
- Gaia Hemp Oil Full Spectrum CBD
- Hemp Fusion Full Spectrum CBD
- Garden of Life CBD Broad Spectrum
- Heinen’s CBD Isolate
- ZuRI CBD Isolate
- Lazarus Naturals CBD Balm
- PLUS CBD Oil Hemp Gummies
Life can be busy, but take time to nurture yourself, slow down and do things that make you happy! Too much high activity without the balance of rest throws the body out of balance. In both Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda, the balance of the resting feminine and active masculine is critical to good health, overall mood and sense of happiness in life. Find the balance daily, and also follow the lead of nature with the seasons. Nature knows best!
We always recommend consulting with your physician before starting a new supplement. If you’re interested in learning more about the Vitamins and Supplements we carry, stop by your local Heinen’s Wellness Department. Our Wellness Consultants are happy to assist you!