Winter brings the cold, comforting months where we sit in front of the fireplace with a warm, cozy fire watching Netflix. And while this year is unseasonably warm in many parts of the world, that doesn't mean that people aren't entering into "hibernation" mode. However, taking steps to care for your winter health and wellbeing can set you up for the rest of the nine months of the year to enjoy.
If you want to stay happy, active, and healthy throughout the cold winter months, the following tips and tricks can help.
4 Winter Health and Wellbeing Items to Add to Your To-Do List
1. Put an End to SAD
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is what people know as the winter blues. People stay indoors more often during the cold months and don't get as much sun compared to summer. However, 5% of people will suffer from significant depression because of SAD, and up to 20% of people will experience milder forms of the disorder.
How do you overcome SAD or stop it from occurring in the first place?
- Spend 10 to 15 minutes in the sun daily.
- Add light therapy to your daily routine.
Light therapy will cost you some money to get started, but these are lamps that are made to mimic the sun's natural light. You'll find most retailers calling them SAD lamps or sun lamps.
2. Focus on Your Immune Health
Winter keeps many people indoors, but people also pack restaurants, movie theaters, and other indoor venues because there's not much to do outdoors. Unfortunately, however, winter is also the time of year when people routinely get the cold and flu.
Focusing on your immune health is a great way to enter the new year, and your diet can help.
Here are a few of the many foods that you can eat to help boost your immune function.
- Almonds are an excellent food that you can pick up on the go and eat. Almonds are filled with vitamin E, which has been linked to lower oxidative damage and also improve immunity.
- Broccoli is one veggie you should be adding to your diet – minus the cheese. Consuming this green will help add an abundance of great vitamins and minerals to your diet, including A, C, and E, along with iron, zinc and magnesium. But keep it simple. Stick to just plain broccoli.
- Green tea isn't technically a food, but with its high levels of antioxidants, this delicious warm drink will boost your immune system while also lowering inflammation.
And while these three foods can boost immunity, you should also be adding ginger, citrus fruits, sunflower seeds, kale, turmeric, spinach, grapes, and yogurt into your diet. A mix of delicious, immune-boosting foods can help improve your immune system and hopefully protect you from flu, cold and other illnesses.
3. Find Ways to Relax at Home
Your home should be an oasis, but for many people, they stroll in the door and see all of the work that they should be doing. However, with a change of attitude and a few simple adjustments, you can relax at home this winter.
A few of the great ways to relax are:
- Start saying positive affirmations (read how here).
- Engage in breathing exercises.
- Learn to meditate (check out this great video).
- Begin using healing crystals, such as clear quartz, jasper, citrine, amethyst, etc.
You can also take a bubble bath or get a massage gun that you can use to melt the stress away and take time to reflect.
You can also follow our tips to relax during this holiday season.
4. Start an at-Home Fitness Routine
Each winter, the average person will put on 1 to 2 pounds of weight, starting in the fall. It's fair to say that people move a lot less in the winter by eating heavily during the holidays and "relaxing" on the couch.
One way to come out of winter healthier is to find some form of exercise to do at home.
Yes, you can join a gym.
However, every January, people join a gym and then often stop going beyond the first few weeks. Instead, we want you to find something that you truly enjoy doing and do it during the winter months.
A few great forms of exercise that you'll want to consider are:
- Yoga. A great option for men and women is to perform yoga. You'll find ample videos on YouTube and the like to help you get started.
- Kettlebells. If you like lifting weights but don't have a lot of room, consider performing exercises using kettlebells. These compound movements will burn more calories, lead to muscle gain, and are quick and easy to perform.
- Hike. You might not be able to hike every day, but it's a good opportunity to get moving. Plus, the trails are usually empty on cold days.
Of course, any type of exercise is great at this time of year because it gets the blood moving and will help with caloric expenditure.
Your winter health and wellbeing matter, so this winter, take some time to focus on yourself! The tips above can help you get out of your hibernation mode and move a little closer to overall better health and wellbeing.