There are two sides to the winter coin.
One side is all the cosiness: rugging up and snuggling in, getting warm and comfortable under the blankets with a new Netflix binge. But the other side is that the drop in temperature can mean a massive hit to your immune system. It’s why both your mental and physical health can suffer in winter, and why you need to make sure that you’re taking care of your wellbeing as best you can. Preventatively.
1. Get enough sleep
We know it’s a bit of a pet subject of ours here, but it’s such a simple thing that makes a world of difference. Getting the recommended eight hours of sleep every night is going to put you in the best possible position to be as healthy and well as you can be, physically and mentally. Eight hours of sleep helps your cells regenerate, soothes your muscles, eases stresses and generally helps you be healthier and happier. Don’t skip out on the sleep this winter.
2. Add immune-boosting foods to your diet
Everyone knows that with the cold weather comes, well, colds. But there are things you can do to fight that including eating a diet rich in immune-boosting foods. Garlic, ginger, spinach, citrus fruit, broccoli and turmeric are all foods that will help ward off illness and generally make you feel stronger all through winter. As for us? We recommend a nice turmeric, ginger, garlic and spinach stew, with heaps of broccoli and a squeeze of lemon.
3. Try regular low-intensity exercise
We get it. It’s tough to leave the house, let alone break a sweat in winter, but we all need to be moving our bodies, and no more so than in the cooler seasons. But don’t try anything that is going to put excess strain on your body, as it will already be dealing with the pressures of the colder climate. Try something a bit easier, like a brisk walk or indoor swimming, which will help you get your workouts in but won’t overburden your body. Overexertion is no myth.
4. Soak up the sunlight
Easier said than done, we know, but on those days when the sun is high in the sky and warming on your cheeks try to get out and about in daylight hours. Even a walk around the block in the sun during your lunch break will help you to soak up some of that vitamin D and give your immune system a little boost.
5. Eat a filling breakfast
We all know that it’s the most important meal of the day, but too often breakfast is sacrificed in place of more sleep or a cup of coffee on the go. In actual fact, a hearty breakfast will help boost your wellbeing in winter and set you up for a successful day. And it doesn’t have to be time consuming, either.
6. Stay hydrated
Again, this one is a year-round tip that is especially important in winter. But, truly, staying hydrated is the key to a healthy immune system. Buy a beautiful carafe and keep it on your desk within eyesight so that you are reminded to drink water all through the day.
7. Sanitise, sanitise, sanitise
It doesn’t matter how well you’re taking care of your own wellbeing, it’s the people around you that you need to watch out for. That’s why you need to make sure that you’re using hand sanitiser to clean your hands any time you’re touching a public surface and that you’re washing your hands thoroughly as often as you can. This is a surefire way to keep germs at bay, especially the nasty cold and flu viruses that tend to thrive in winter.
8. Take care of your mental health
Perhaps most importantly, you should make your mental health and self-care a priority 365 days a year. It’s true that dark, cold days and nights can wear you down so it’s integral that you make you a priority. Meditation, yoga, long baths and professional help if you need it are all great tips for easing stress and making sure that winter isn’t getting you down. Remember, winter only lasts for a certain amount of time. And after that? Spring.
If you are concerned about your health, wellbeing or sleep, your first port of call should be your GP, who will advise a correct treatment plan.
If you found this interesting, this is why sleeping well in 2019 should be your only resolution.