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Winter Blues


Have you been feeling out of sorts, perhaps irritable, and less tolerant?

You are not alone.Sparks

In the past few weeks I have heard many of my clients, friends, and family members express that they have not been feeling themselves, like something is off.

They expressed feeling more irritable and less tolerant of other people as well as their personal circumstances, and just wanting to stay home in bed.

Has that been your experience lately?

Don’t despair, you are not alone.

With the changes in weather and having shorter sunny days, the body requires a different kind of support.

With cloudy, cold days, comes the instinctual need to hibernate. That means, we tend to stay indoors more often, move less, and eat more.

There is nothing wrong with that, except our internal clock and rhythm gets out of balance because we are not receiving the appropriate cues from the environment (the sun) to adjust to the time change, and we are not delivering the supplements necessary for our body to manage the change in season and therefore affecting our mood.

What you are experiencing may be what is commonly called The Winter Blues.

There are many studies that link Vitamin D (sunlight) deficiency to symptoms of depression. Symptoms of depression in children and adolescents  can sometimes be expressed as irritability.

In addition, lack of exercise can be a detriment to not only your physical health but your mental health, since moderate exercise improves mood by releasing endorphins.

How to combat those winter blues?

Here are some ideas you may want to implement, if you haven’t already:

– Check with your functional medicine doctor which supplements you may be deficient. You may find that all you needed is a natural supplement to improve your mood.

– Spend 5 minutes facing the sun, eyes closed. If it’s a cloudy day, double the amount of exposure. This will help you adjust to the time change and reset your circadian rhythm to improve your sleep and energy.

– Integrate moderate exercise in your routine. Make it non-negotiable. Moderate exercise three days a week minimum will strengthen your health and mood.

– Be mindful of what you eat and be sure to give your body the nutrients it needs.

– Use a Sun Lamp to support you on days you are not able to face the sun.

– Give yourself permission to rest if you are tired, however, if you find yourself sleeping excessively, check with your doctor for any physical issues.

– Work on a fun, creative project that keeps you engaged and motivated.

– Make plans with loved ones so you don’t isolate yourself.

– Bring more light into your life through candles, light-color clothing, or decorations.

– Create a vision board to keep you motivated about your future.

– Do a lot of self-care and pampering. This is a great time for rejuvenation and replenishing.

– Take breaks from social media and comparing yourself to others.

– Go to a retreat or a place to recharge your batteries.

Are there any others you would add to this list? 

Let me know in the comments below.

I hope these suggestions are helpful. As with every advice you may receive, first check with your primary care doctor and therapist before implementing any suggestions.

Keep your inner light shinning bright!

Many Blessings,

Nancy De Andrade, PhD


My Story

I’m Dr. Nancy De Andrade and I’d like to share a little bit of the path that led me to embark on this journey of helping others.

When I was 15 years old I wanted desperately to run away from home. Without going into too much detail, I’ll just say that I was miserable and knew that I could no longer live in such toxic environment.

I had it all planned out. I would move in with my best friend’s family, drop out of school and get a job. I imagined how peaceful and happy my life was finally going to be when I moved away. I couldn’t wait!

But then my friend’s mom said I needed to stay home and figure my life out. Ouch.

Even though it was not the answer I wanted to hear, it was the one I needed to hear, because as hard as it was to live at home with my abusive, helicopter parents, I would have missed the most important lessons of my life. 

What happened in the following years changed me and showed me the path to my purpose (even though I didn’t know it then).

My oldest sister was like a mother to me. As often as she could, she mentored and guided me, and somehow knew I needed help. At the time, she was enrolled in a training program to facilitate workshops about psychology and personal growth. As luck would have it, the program allowed her bring someone to the workshops for free.

Lucky me!

She introduced me to the most transformational workshops on personal growth, self-esteem, communication, personal excellence, meditation, and even retreats! I was exposed to so many valuable experiences that truly changed my life for the better. I became more confident, happier, forgiving, and assertive. Armed with the tools and the thirst for more expansion, I finally moved out at the age of 18. 

However, life was harder than I had envisioned, and I hit a wall.

Out in the world of regular interactions, my assertiveness was mistaken by arrogance, I was wronged for being straight-forward, and was called names for speaking my truth. Even family members would say things like: “Who do you think you are?”, “You think you are better than everyone?” “Don’t throw that psycho-babble at me!” and so much more. 

It was confusing and hurtful, and honestly, I didn’t enjoy feeling rejected and isolated, so I  conformed to belong”, and adapted to my current environment and culture. I became extra careful with my words so people would not get hurt (or hurt me), I tiptoed around others, I “toned-down” my personality, and became a people pleaser,  making sure everyone was happy… everyone except me.

Unknowingly, I became codependent.

It struck me one day, when I was visiting my brother. He frankly pointed out that I was not the same happy person he remembered. He said I looked worried and much too serious. The reality was that I felt unhappy, insecure, anxious, and stuck. 

Inspired by this epiphany, (and feeling tired of living depressed and anxious), I set course to learn a more comprehensive and holistic approach to take charge of my mind, body, and spirit. I hired a mentor, attended countless workshops, and even went back to school to complete a PhD in Psychology.  

I learned as much as I could about the body-mind connection, codependency, self-esteem, healthy communication, boundaries, spirituality, mindfulness and so much more. I became obsessed with self-awareness and personal growth and applied this knowledge in my years of practicing psychology.

As I implemented what I learned, my life improved. I started my own coaching practice and became more confident about my talents and skills, more assertive in my approach, and more clear in my requests. I learned the right way to set boundaries, the most effective way to speak one’s truth, the most compassionate way to engage with others, and the most loving way to treat one’s self.

I continue to share the specific strategies I find most effective with my clients. They benefit greatly as I provided them with cutting-edge, holistic techniques to improve their body, mind, and spirit. I’m blessed to continue to witness amazing transformations, and see many of my clients go from feeling insecure, depressed, anxious, and taking a passive role in their lives, to feeling confident, empowered, loving, clear and enlightened.

I know my journey doesn’t end here. My purpose is to continue learning and sharing this knowledge with as many people as I can. My aspiration is to make an impact in the lives of hundreds of thousands of people and help them experience a more empowered and authentic life filled with love and confidence. 

My journey continues and I would like for you to be a part of it. Would you join me?

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