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Beating the Winter Blues

Our gorgeous dietitan and diabetes educator shares her latest tips on beating those cold winter blues!

Let's face it! The winter blues are real.
As the days become shorter, the nights are longer and  we head into our winter woolies, we are often in search for comfort to fill that void...true? 

 Guess what? Comfort in food is often what we as a society find warms our heart and calms our mind....But! only temporarily, till we realise this is not sustainable nor is it healthy...and by then it's almost summer and we've established a new (or ongoing) behaviour around food.
 
If there's one thing we can all agree on, it's that behaviour is not like a switch..we can't just turn it on💡 and turn it off. However what we can do, is be aware of the triggers and warning signs to take steps in advance..

Quick, realisic tips - let's be pro-active!

1. Can-do attitude⛹️‍♀️
-Choosing our attitude helps us focus on what we can do rather than what we can't. This can filter itself into other parts of ourlifestyle too. For example, if that 
outdoor morning walk does not feel appealing when it's dark and cold outside, remind yourself of how good you feel when you do it. This can be all you need to get up and do it. Alternatively find an alternative like hopping off a couple of stops earlier for work, or parking a little further and walking or anything else. However doing nothing is establishing a behaviour that can be difficult to change. 

2. Mindful eating🍉
- On scale of 1 to 10, if one is so uncomfortably hungry, that you can eat anything in sight and ten is so uncomfortably full that you're about  to "pop", a good place to aim for in hunger is three and fullness is seven. That way you're in a good place either side. 
-Savour the food and every mouthful as food is made to be enjoyed. 

3. Watch out for the vulnerable times.⌚
-We know ourselves best and we all have triggers that can set off a behaviour around food. That morning tea scone with jam will all of the sudden be so appealing, especially if we haven't had breakfast (as it was all abit of a rush heading out the door in the morning). Aiming for regular meals and avoiding skipping them is a good place to be.

-Supermarket shopping when we're hungry is a popular one. Although we don't mean to shop when we're hungry, we can often fall into this and all of the sudden find ourselves buying things not on our list (if we have one) and missing things that are on it .There may also be a larger bill to reflect this.

4.Planning meals a week ahead. 📋
-By the time we get home from work to then decide what we're going to eat can sometimes be a recipe for snacking, nibbling etc. This can drag into the rest of the evening. Aim to at least have a pencilled in plan of what meals you intend to eat throughout the week. It can also benefit from a cost saving perspective, as you will have a shopping list to go by. Bonus!

5.Find a hobby/activity that will leave you feeling refreshed,relaxed and energized. Here are some examples. 🎵🏓

   * Indoor sport or swimming 
   * Arts and crafts
   * Playing or watching music
   * Reading
   * Volunteering at a local school, community 

6. Seeking professional advice 👨‍⚕️
 Although these tips may be useful, we may still find ourselves feeling low in mood. If this is the case, please seek support as there is no need for you to go through this alone. You may know of someone to talk to, however your family Dr or other caring health professionals will be able direct you. 

For more info
- Healthy eating guidelines
 https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/guidelines

- Physical activity recommendation
 https://www.ndss.com.au/physical-activity 

- Guide for meal planning
http://www.healthyfoodguide.com.au/resources/meal-planning

- Beyond Blue
 https://www.beyondblue.org.au

Happy living everyone 🍒

Sherie Sourial- APD, CDE

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