Somewhere between the turning back our clocks in November and the tail end of January, the combination of cold weather and less sunshine can lead us off the healthy track. Below are ten practical steps you can take now to make the best of the winter season:
- Wash your hands… properly! It might seem like common sense, but don’t make the mistake of a quick soap and rinse and call it a day (or forget the soap entirely!). Lather up your soap for 20 seconds before rinsing well and don’t forget the underside of your fingernails–germs love hiding there. Frequent hand washing is one of the easiest and most effective ways to avoid getting sick and spreading illness.
- Have that Game Night! The hibernation thing works great for bears, but last we checked, people are not bears and staying hidden away at home all winter is not the way to go. Socializing is a powerful mood booster, so whether it’s a coffee date with a close friend or taking a group fitness class, engaging with others is a great way to destress and keep away the holiday blues. Shhh… we secretly love playing apples to apples.
- Winterize your body, mentally and physically. For a season that comes around every year, we still find ourselves surprised by the onset of stuffy noses and sour moods. But there are ways to get a step ahead of Old Man Winter and have ourselves a happy and healthy season, from staying hydrated to being mindful about our mental health.
- Stay on top of your fitness regimen. It’s all too easy to use winter weather as an excuse to stay indoors and curl up with Netflix, but staying active and consistent with your workouts is critical to boosting your immune system and combating the aftermath of holiday feasting. Whether you bundle up for a walk around the neighborhood or roll up your sleeves to give the house a good dusting, make sure to get on your feet.
- Catch those Z’s. It’s true that not everyone needs a full eight hours of sleep to function healthily, but all the precautions you take against the cold or flu will be useless if your body is too tired to even use them. Try some turmeric milk at night if you have trouble sleeping.
- Lighten up. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) affects millions of Americans and it’s important to seek treatment and not just brush it off as a case of the “winter blues”. If, however, you find yourself bogged down under a mild case of the blahs, getting more light in your life is an easy and effective solution.
- Overcome holiday stress. The holiday season is a time for joyful family gatherings, but it’s important to acknowledge that this isn’t a universal truth. Family relationships are complicated and for those dreading the yearly get-together, there are concrete methods to identify what troubles you and ways to get through it. Watch a Ted talk about unconditional love.
- Check your heating system and make sure it runs safely. Make updates if necessary and install a carbon monoxide detector to keep you and your family safe.
- Travel smart. It’s difficult to stay healthy on a daily basis, but the holidays brings out stress and temptations in spades. Get prepared before you jump on a plane, train, or automobile. Here are tips to get the most out of your holiday season travels.
We hope you’ll make time by checking in on how you’re feeling and take steps toward a healthier you this winter. Let us know your favorite ways to stay healthy during the cold months! We’d love to hear from you.