Updated: Jan 28
Winter is here and that means sweaters, gloves, and cozy nights. With the change of season and the shorter days, it can be easy to feel run down if we don't adjust accordingly. There is plenty you can do to avoid the winter blues as well as make sure your body feels energized. Self-care is a big part of staying strong this time of year. Taking care of your health through diet, exercise, sleep, and stress management is a big part of preventing getting sick.
Winter is filled with tasty treats and we tend to indulge a bit more than normal. That’s okay!
It’s important to enjoy the season while being mindful of what and how much we are putting on our plates. For more on how to indulge mindfully check out this blog post.
Eating too many of those sugary sweets can lower your immune system’s ability to fight off sickness and protect you. Did you know that sugar decreases the ability of your white blood cells to fight infection by 50%? This effect lasts for several hours!
Eating whole foods will help boost your immune system and provide balance with the treats of the season. Some examples are:
Vitamin C: citrus, bell peppers & spinach
Antioxidants: organic berries
Probiotics: High quality yogurt, raw sauerkraut, kombucha
Vitamin E: almonds and sunflower seeds
Zinc: pumpkin seeds, beans, oysters
Getting meaningful movement during cold winter months can be a challenge. And it's really
important because it reduces stress, improves circulation, and boosts your mood - along with a host of other benefits. Luckily, there is plenty of great at home options when you want to break a sweat.
Exercise with friends makes it easier to reach your goals and it’s more enjoyable. Partner with a friend to be accountability buddies. Check in daily or weekly to share your successes and where you may need more support. Be in it together and have some fun!
Getting enough Zzzz's every night is necessary for your body to regenerate and heal. Quality sleep each night can help increase immune function, lead to a better mood, improve memory, and lower stress. It's recommended to get 7-9 hours of sleep each night. So how much sleep do you need? You'll know if you're getting enough by how much extra you sleep in on the days you don't set an alarm.
Quality is just as important as quantity. Setting up a bedtime routine will help your body know it’s time to wind down. Find things that calm your mind and lead your body to relaxation. Turning off screens 1 to 2 hours before bed helps the brain transition out of work mode. Give yourself some extra “ahhhhh” with a cup of chamomile tea or a hot bath. Calming the nervous system can lead to a more restful night’s sleep.
Stress is often at the root of many health ailments, including your immune system slowing down. We all experience stress. It’s a natural part of life. Coping with that stress and telling our body that it no longer needs to be in the stress state can lead to better health. For more on stress and how it affects your body read this blog post.
To get your body into a stress-free state try to take time daily for relaxation. I recommend writing down a list of activities that you enjoy doing: reading, meditating, walking the dog, taking a bath etc. This is your personal list of calming activities that work for you. Now use it! :)
Taking care of ourselves often ends up being one of the last things on our to-do lists. Yet it should be first. Make yourself a priority this winter with these tips. Which one will you start with?
Do you want help supporting your immune system and creating a sustainable, holistic self-care routine? Book a free call with me to talk about how we could work together.