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Health & Wellbeing

Seasons Change, So Why Shouldn’t Our Bodies?

During the winter, our bodies tend to change. How should we remember to love them, and not beat ourselves up for allowing these changes to happen?

Love Your Winter Body. Image: Shutterstock

Bodies are constantly changing. During the winter, our bodies also tend to change, which may cause distress amongst many.

But while maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important- accepting that our bodies change with the seasons could be crucial for our mental health in the winter.

The winter season influences us in various ways. People experience increased tiredness, lack of motivation, and constantly changing dopamine levels. Quite often, our well-being is affected, and the winter blues hits.

Many articles suggest to us the many ways in which we should stop our bodies from changing. They speak of how to fight the winter’s effects on our bodies and avoid weight gain.

Now, I am not suggesting that we should not keep active and take care of our bodies throughout the year. But at the same time- changes are sometimes inevitable, and accepting that might help us preserve both our physical and mental health in the winter.

Why do our bodies change during the winter?

Human bodies have the ability to adapt to many situations to preserve their energy and health, and during the winter, our bodies are doing just that. Our liver produces more fat, which is then stored in our tissues so that we are kept warm. Our body’s metabolism is also boosted, burning more energy so that we are not cold, so naturally- we get hungrier.

And it is not just that- our body produces more melatonin- the sleep hormone- and the cold and lack of vitamin D result in much lower energy levels. This makes getting up from the couch to the gym, to cook, or even just walking to a lecture much more difficult. You could read more about the struggle to get out of bed in the winter.

Sweater Weather: Shutterstock

Another Problematic TikTok Trend

When browsing through TikTok, you may notice the many existing videos titled “Summer Bodies Are Built in The Winter.” People show their workout routine, telling people to keep up, increase their physical activity, and maintain eating habits. All of this is to achieve the perfect, idealistic summer body.

But while these videos might make us feel insecure and judge our winter habits- we must remember that we all react differently to the weather. We also all have different bodies, and our worth is not, in any way, determined by them.

Trends come and go, and beauty ideals change all the time. And these videos are not a motivation force for people to keep a healthy, active lifestyle. They many times cause people to compare themselves and their abilities to others and feel disappointed in themselves.

Let your body have what it needs!

It is undoubtedly true that we all ought to keep a healthy, nutritious diet and an active lifestyle- although it is harder at this time of the year. But we should possibly also cut ourselves some slack. We should avoid over-criticizing and judging ourselves when we are simply just reacting to the changing conditions around us.

The Importance of Listening to our Bodies. Image: Shutterstock

If we still feel hungry after eating- it simply might be because our body needs more energy. If we are too tired and feel like we can’t get ourselves to go to the gym- we might need some rest. And being forgiving and attentive to ourselves will boost our well-being and help us battle the winter blues.

So how can we do it?

There are several things that may help us improve our well-being and body positivity during the winter.

  1. For once, maintaining a certain amount of exercise. Whilst you may not exercise as much, keeping your body moving could still make you feel productive and mobile. Furthermore, exercising does release dopamine and serotonin, which have been proven to improve your mood.
  2. Wear clothes that make you feel good, comfortable and warm. Remember that your body will look differently in winter clothes- but you should still wear layers that keep your body’s heat.
  3. Eat foods that allow you to feel full and satisfied, but do not beat yourself up for having comfort food when you need it. In the winter, we may heat heavier, warmer meals, as they help us keep warm.
  4. Talk to people around you when you feel distressed. Many people’s bodies change throughout the winter, and knowing this may help you feel more validated. It also will show you that you are not alone in this.

Winter weight gain and the general changes our bodies undergo are natural and common things. Yet, most articles I have found while researching online did not speak of winter body positivity. They always discuss how to battle weight gain even though it is a totally normal, common thing.

Learning self-love

Self Love is Self Care. Image: Shutterstock

Teaching ourselves to accept our changing bodies could prove to be a difficult task to many. While body positivity movements are doing their best, beauty ideals still put immense pressure on us. Seeing so many influencers and magazines discuss fighting weight gain could cause a lot of anxiety and stress.

This is not an easy task- but self-love is the key to us learning to live our lives in the best way possible.

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Written By

I am an international student in Cardiff University, UK, studying Media, Journalism, and Culture, and a writer in TrillMag! I love reading, writing, climbing and hiking!

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Dana Lewis

    January 18, 2024 at 7:55 pm

    Great article Michali, well done!

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