Here in Australia, we’re in the thick of the chilly season—days are shorter, mornings are colder, the snooze button gets hit more often and our motivation and energy can tend to go into hibernation. Sticking to our exercise routines can be tough when winter hits, which not only has an effect on our energy and physical wellness but can also significantly impact our mood and mental well-being too.
So, to help us stay motivated this season, we reached out to Happy Way nutritionist Malissa Fedele, who’s sharing her top tips and recommendations that she herself implements in her day-to-day routine to promote positivity and overall wellness. Whether you’re noticing your physical energy dwindling, or mentally you’re feeling flat, Malissa gives advice on everything from which foods to eat to what self-care practices will encourage a shift.
TIPS FOR STAYING MOTIVATED
Motivation is something that comes and goes in waves. We won’t always feel motivated and it seems to be more of a struggle during the colder months. Follow these tips to keep you motivated this season.
- Setting a solid routine that’s sustainable will support consistency—when you look back and can see that you’ve stayed on track with your daily habits, it will help you remain motivated and encourage you to keep going. It could be anything from a daily walk to a morning meditation session that starts your day—when we do something consistently it will evoke significant change and the creation of new, positive habits.
- Another great way to inspire motivation is to boost the levels of dopamine—a neurotransmitter that supports us in feeling motivated. Protein is a great source of dopamine so including unprocessed meats into your diet and even adding a protein powder into your daily routine can help to increase dopamine levels.
- Happy Way’s protein powders are packed with vitamins, minerals and nutrients that provide a heap of benefits to both our physical and mental well-being. Enjoying a protein shake or smoothie first thing in the morning will give you the energy you need to not only get through your workout but can also help you stay focused and motivated throughout the day too.
If you’ve never tried protein powder before, have no idea where to start or which one will best support you and your goals, why not book a complimentary 10 minute Happy Way Nutrition Consultation with me! During your consultation, we can discuss your needs and preferences and I can recommend products that align and support you in achieving your personal goals. Follow this link and book in today.
TIPS FOR STAYING ENERGISED
Staying motivated has a lot to do with our energy levels, but how do you keep high energy levels when all you want to do is curl up under the covers? It can be a challenge, especially in winter! When we’re full of energy, naturally we have more motivation to achieve tasks, work towards our goals and feel and remain positive, even in the gloomy seasons. Here are my tips on sustaining consistent energy levels:
- Don’t let your tank get too empty. Stay nourished throughout the day and ensure you’re eating consistently. Include nutrient-rich snacks between meals to help keep your energy high.
- Prioritise sleep. Setting a bedtime and wake-up time that allows for a reasonable amount of sleep will support a healthy circadian rhythm and enable your body to properly rest—this in turn will impact your energy levels.
- Incorporate these foods into your diet:
- Unprocessed foods that are low in refined sugars.
- Seasonal fruits and veggies as they have a higher nutrient profile.
- Consume enough whole grains and complex carbohydrates with each meal.
- Reduce your caffeine and alcohol intake.
TIPS FOR WORKING OUT
Working out in winter can be a struggle—it's cold and you’d rather be at home, all cosy! But keeping up with regular movement is the best thing for maintaining a strong immune system and helps to boost all those feel-good endorphins. Here are my top tips:
- Instead of focusing on how much you don’t want to work out, think about how you’ll feel AFTERWARDS! There’s no better feeling than post-workout and you’ll never regret making the effort to move your body.
- Use the five second rule. You may have heard lawyer, author and motivational speaker, Mel Robbins speak about this one but the five second rule is when you count from 5 to 1 when you don’t feel like doing something, giving yourself five seconds to switch your mindset and get going. Your brain only needs five seconds to talk you out of doing something—so next time your alarm goes off for that 6 am workout and you’re stuck in bed, count down from 5 to 1 and jump out of bed instead!
- Schedule your workouts like appointments and don’t skip out on them! Be realistic about when you are going to work out and book your classes in advance. Don’t make them optional, instead, choose to look at them as important commitments you can’t miss.
TIPS FOR ELEVATING YOUR MOOD
Maintaining a positive attitude is always important, no matter what time of year it is. If you often experience a drop in mood during the cooler months (don’t worry, it’s actually a thing) here are my top tips to survive this:
- Journaling has proven to have so many positive effects on mood and general well-being—helping to reduce stress and anxiety, support goals, boost motivation, improve communication skills and keep you accountable. If you’re looking for a quick, easy and stress-free practice you can do at any time to elevate your mood, journaling is a great go-to. Journaling can be whatever you want it to be, there’s really no right or wrong way of doing it! Using journal prompts is a great place to start or even just make a list of what you’re grateful for at the end of each day.
Lastly, the foods you eat every day can also play a huge role in how you feel and besides increasing your energy levels as mentioned above, they can also boost your mood too. These are some of my favourite recipes that help to keep my energy levels high, whilst providing nutrients that support both my mental and physical health.
This recipe is rich in healthy fats and antioxidants, which energise and improve brain function.
A great mid-morning snack to keep energy levels high.
A delicious smoothie that provides your body with an abundance of nutrients first thing in the morning.
To learn more about foods that promote happiness, listen to our Happy Way podcast episode, 'How to eat for happiness'.
At Happy Way, we understand the winter struggle, so we hope these tips and recommendations from Malissa will help to keep your mind and body elevated and energised this season.