Winter can be a challenging time both mentally and physically. The days are darker, colder and shorter which can affect our mood and our bodies become more susceptible to all kinds of winter nasties like colds and flu.
Stay Well in Winter
Here are some tips to help you look after your wellbeing in the winter months:
Avoid winter germs
Reduce the spread of germs that cause colds and flu. Wash your hands with soap and water regularly particularly if you’ve been around people who are unwell. If washing facilities aren’t available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Eat a healthy diet and keep active. Check if you are eligible for a free flu jab and get protected!
Boost your vitamin D
The body can make vitamin D when the skin is exposed to sunlight, but production often drops in winter. To compensate, eat plenty of foods rich in vitamin D including Tuna, Mackerel and Salmon, mushrooms, egg yolks and fortified foods
It’s important to hydrate yourself by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. In summer, the hot weather reminds us that we are thirsty but it’s easy to neglect hydration when the weather becomes colder because we think our body doesn’t need any more water.
Keeping your body well hydrated will help to keep your skin healthy, flush out toxins and ward off winter bugs
Try to create a healthy balance in your diet
Christmas is a time when most of us are more social and often eat and drink more quantities and richer foods. In-between social events, try and keep a balance to your diet with some fruit and vegetables and keep hydrated. This can help you to avoid energy lows that can impact your mood
Fight the winter blues
It’s not unusual to feel a bit blue in the winter months. When the weather’s miserable and the evenings are darker, it can be harder to motivate yourself to get out and about and to exercise. This can have a negative impact on your mood. Stay connected with people and use the Christmas break to do something you enjoy. Exercise can be great for mental health and there are still ways to keep it up over Christmas; go for a swim, an exercise class, get out and about for a winter walk or have a dance-off to some festive classics.
Good quality sleep is important for looking after our mental and emotional health. Try and keep a regular pattern to your sleep and ensure your environment is conducive to a restful night, try to come off screens 30 minutes before bedtime, make sure your bedroom is not too cold or too hot, avoid stimulants like coffee, chocolate or alcohol before bed and try and relax your mind with meditation or mindfulness techniques.
Cut some lavander and place in a small pouch and place it under the pillow to help with sleep.
Stay well over winter
Written by Susie Bennett – Think Wellbeing