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Kira auf der Heide on  Unsplash

Thanks for joining Nicole on this episode of the Messy Middle Road Trip Podcast. Nicole is one half of our dynamic hosting duo. They are entrepreneurs, wives, moms, and women who are fearlessly navigating the middle of life. In between the regular podcasts, Janine and Nicole will be going solo to talk about their areas of expertise. Janine tackles travel and Nicole will be focused on the Health and Wellness Umbrella. Today Nicole be talking about the importance of mindset during the winter months to combat seasonal affective disorder and embrace the season of fuzzy socks and warm blankets by the fire.

Nicole will share her experience growing up in New England as a kid and enjoying the winter weather and activities that accompanied this time of year. She will also share how that love changed following her psoriatic arthritis diagnosis. Like so many people living in cold climates during certain times of the year, Nicole was suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. Depending on where you live, SAD can produce sadness, loss of energy, irritability, difficulty concentrating, sleeping more, decrease in activity, withdrawing socially, craving carbohydrates and overeating for three months or longer. 

Looking for new ways to improve her health and wellness and Nicole know that mindset was a huge component of happiness. After a little research to reboot, she discovered the Danish way of life called Hygge (hue-guh). “The creation of a warm atmosphere where we can enjoy the good things in life with good people.” Nicole became aware that she needed to put in the work to enjoy winter instead of enduring it.

Here is a suggested list of things that can create that Hygge lifestyle:

  1. Stop complaining about winter. 
  2. Take a moment to journal all the wonderful things about winter so that when we encounter them, we’ll take a breath and actually enjoy and remember them. 
  3. Health benefits associated with Hygge
  4. Declutter
  5. Use non-toxic soy or LED candles
  6. Plug in floor or table lamps with soft white bulbs  
  7. Use dimmer lights
  8. Cook comfort food – soups, stews, one-pot dishes in the crockpot
  9. Create a warm beverage station – cocoa, tea, coffee, cider
  10. Cuddle with soft blankets, throw pillows and rugs
  11. Surround yourself with plants, wood pieces, photos of loved ones/travel
  12. Gather around a fireplace, string of lights or salt lamp
  13. Use muted colors of shades of white, blush and soft browns
  14. Opt to host a gathering with friends in your home. 
  15. Getting out of the house for community activities like winter festivals or spending time outdoors skiing, skating or taking brisk walks or hikes can make you feel invigorated and connected with people and nature. 

We’ve got a lot of winter left to enjoy between now and March 19th and we encourage you to embrace the concept of hygge (hue-guh) and go with the flow to make the most of the next few months. We promise it will be less painful and potentially enjoyable if you do.

Please remember that Nicole is not a scientist or health care professional, just passionate about living a healthy life and sharing what she knows. Her tips and tidbits should not replace personal judgment or medical treatment when needed. She is not trying to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or mental health issue…just give you something to think about. Always do your research and reach out to your physician or healthcare provider about your concerns.

Thanks for tuning into this week’s episode of the Messy Middle Road Trip podcast. We hope you feel inspired to get cozy and enjoy the simple pleasures of the season. You can find more at messy middle road trip dot com.  

If you enjoyed today’s show, please head over to iTunes to subscribe and leave us a rating and review to help us reach even more women fearlessly navigating the middle of life. Don’t forget to visit us on Facebook or Instagram to see what’s happening over there. Janine and I are looking forward to our next road trip with you. Thanks for riding shotgun. Until next time…

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EO61: Get Healthy in 2020 with Personal Trainer Michelle Crean
EO53: Healthy Eating in Midlfie with Dietician Nicole Maslar