February Blues: Lonely Valentines & Contagious Colds

In January, you feel brand-spanking renewed. Like anything’s possible. But come February, after the twinkling holiday lights are taken down around town, the world can certainly appear a bit more dreary.

If you feel a bit blasé and cynical during February, you’re not the only one. The month kinda sucks.

The wintry weather is depressing, which results in seasonal affective disorder.

Smack in the middle is Valentine’s Day. Enough said.

And then there’s just the endless mucus-ridden colds and influenza that spread like wildfire. Here’s lookin’ at you, kids.

February can be such a downer for many reasons, but we’re gonna talk about tips to fight the main culprits:

Seasonal Affective Disorder and Serotonin

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is probably the number one culprit for the winter season as a whole. Many people develop some kind of depression during the winter months, typically caused by a lack of Vitamin D we’d normally absorb from the sun.

However, there are other ways to fight the winter blues. One of which is to increase your serotonin levels. Here are a few ways to do so:

  • Eat more proteins — Oily fish with higher omega-3 fatty acids (hint: salmon).
  • Eat dark leafy veggies — Like spinach, kale, and chards – full of important minerals to help your brain function.
  • Get exercise — Winter makes it difficult to enjoy outdoor activities. But even if it’s in your own home and a more relaxing alternative, taking 30-minutes for some yoga can do your mental health a whole lot of good.    

Valentine’s Day

For some of us, it’s just another holiday. But for those of us without a partner, significant other, or even a date, the day—nay, the week—truly sucks.  Let’s also not forget about the all the ladies whose men are just plain bad at this holiday. You have a partner but still no chocolate, flowers or dinner.  Which is worse? You’d be perfectly content never to see the color pink again.

Except… when you see pink, you instantly crave a baby to cuddle.  

For singles who are dying to start a family, seeing newborns and happy couples around this holiday is often a harsh reminder of how distant parenthood seems.  

For single ladies who feel their clock ticking, don’t despair. In today’s age, there’s a multitude of ways to start a family. Is your perfect partner out there? Absolutely! Don’t doubt for a sec. Can your eggs wait? Well… not forever.

Instead, take control of your own body and schedule an appointment to talk about options to preserve your fertility.  Naturna practitioners can help you figure out what your best options are both on the natural and egg freezing side of things. We can also recommend some awesome (and cost effective) places to freeze eggs, should that be the path your choose.

If you discover that you have but a few eggs left and/or they’re of low quality, Naturna offers assistance through acupuncture, lifestyle and naturopathic approaches. Acupuncture assists in lowering stress, detoxifying the body, regulating FHS levels, and increasing blood flow to get your hormones healthy and eggs prepped for freezing!

Not sure if your hormones are healthy? Take our Hormone Wise Quiz.

We understand that February’s holiday-that-shall-not-be-named weighs on many single women’s minds. And freezing your eggs may seem like a moot idea, especially if your last date was the farthest thing from parental material.

But it offers hope. And sometimes that’s all one needs. (Plus, maybe acupuncture.)

Keep Colds and the Flu at Bay

If you’re a parent already, you understand first-hand how easy it is during the winter season for kids to carry and spread germs.

Kids get sick quite often, picking up colds and influenza from who-knows-where and bringing it home, often for weeks. Most of a child’s never-ending cycle of sickness can be chalked up to a compromised immune system. Mainly, diet and sleep-related issues.

Here are several natural tips to keep their immune system in shape.

A Better Diet for Kids

Kids can be picky eaters, so it’s sometimes difficult to manage what they consume. But to maintain a healthy immune system for youngsters, keep in mind these tips:

  • Avoid dairy, eggs, fruit, and sugar — Stick to minimal amounts of milk, especially with mucus and phlegm.  Resist the urge to give fruit juice as the sugars will affect their immune system negatively and create more mucus. Orange juice is not a cold remedy!
  • Eat more nutrient-rich foods and make sure they are cooked — Try seasonal fare like parsnip, squash and kale. If already sick, feed your kid rice, rice porridge, boiled veggies, toast, crackers etc.. – THINK BLAND.  Add a bit of salt if they aren’t digging the options.

Set a good sleep schedule

Sleep hygiene just isn’t in a kid’s vocabulary. Unlike adults who’d love one more hour of sleep, it’s hard to convince kids to even go to bed. But here are a few tricks to coax them asleep faster and guarantee a good night’s rest.

  • Limit screen time — Take away your child’s exposure to screens and bright lights a good hour before their bedtime. This means devices (smartphones, laptops, tablets) that emit that harsh blue light. Why? Because it tricks our brains into thinking it’s morning. Instead, grab a favorite bedtime story and read to them.
  • Keep the bedroom dark — Children’s eyes let in more light than us, which can disrupt their sleep habits quite significantly, screwing with their circadian cycle and melatonin release. To keep your child’s bedroom as dark as possible, dress your windows in blackout shades and curtains. This is especially important for those of us who live in urban areas like NYC.

Now, we know kids need a night-light to keep the monsters away. But aim for one with a warmer red or orange hue, not like the hypnotic blue from screens.

Pediatric herbal remedies

If you have a frequently-sick child and you need better solutions, contact the Naturna Institute for a pediatric vitamin and/or herbal remedy. We can certainly help your little one (and of course you) battle your way out of a permanently sick household.  We have plenty of simple solutions to build up their immunity.

Take Heart This February

If this month has you down, take heart and stay optimistic. After all, February’s saving grace is that it’s short. And be unstoppable!

“She was unstoppable. Not because she did not have failures or doubts, but because she continued on despite them.” -Beau Taplan

Whatever you need help or advice with, Naturna offers comprehensive sessions to get your body and mind back on the right track this year. Schedule a session with one of our licensed practitioners today.

References:

L.D. Akacem, K. P. Wright Jr., M. K. LeBourgeois. Sensitivity of the circadian system to evening bright light in preschool‐age children. Physiol Rep, 6 (5), 2018, e13617, https://doi.org/10.14814/phy2.13617