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Top Tips On Maintaining Wellbeing Throughout The Winter
As the winter months continue on blasting us with freezing winds, ice and snow, it can be easy to neglect our wellbeing and instead opt for easy options. However, winter is truly the season when we should be looking after ourselves even more than usual in order to avoid succumbing to the colder temperatures, drier climate and viruses circulating at work and around friends and family. It’s much easier than you think to maintain and boost your wellbeing during winter and we’ve created these top 10 tips to keep you healthy, happy, and in good shape.
1. Eat citrus fruit
As the nights get longer and the days shorter, it may seem there is little color and inspiration around you making you want to indulge in stodgy, fatty comfort foods. But winter is the time when seasonal citrus fruits such as clementines make a bright appearance in our supermarkets and just in time too! These brightly coloured little oranges are absolutely packed full of vitamin C and fibre to keep your immune system strong and resistant to viruses and your digestive system working well in between all that holiday food.
2. Stay hydrated
With winter comes a drop in moisture in the air, meaning our hair and skin dries out much easier. It’s also easy to forget to drink plenty of water when it’s cold outside compared to the heat of summer. Staying hydrated is super important in the winter months to keep your body healthy, so why not make water seem more appealing by adding lemon, mint or even fruits such as strawberries? Just have a jar or glass bottle always topped up in the fridge at home or in the workplace that you can easily reach for. The added bonus is that adding fruit or herbs to your water means the goodness will seep out of them into the liquid, so you’ll be getting both a vitamin kick and staying on top of your hydration!
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3. Making waking up easier
Dark winter mornings make it hard for even the most motivated among us to climb out of bed. The lack of sunlight means that our brains still think we should be asleep leaving us feeling tired, groggy and generally miserable. Get rid of your traditional alarm clock and opt for a wake-up light alarm clock on your bedside table instead. These produce a natural light which gradually gets brighter, encouraging your body to produce more cortisol to beat those winter morning blues.
4. Get yourself some vitamin D
The lack of daylight hours during the winter months means that many of us are at risk of becoming vitamin D deficient. This in turn can cause a number of issues, but in particular Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD for short. Also known as winter depression, this disorder begins as the days get shorter and causes a persistent low mood, irritability and a difficulty in waking up in the mornings among others. Going outside as much as possible will top up your vitamin D levels, while getting you active and increasing circulation. These are all things which can help fight SAD and other winter related disorders.
5. Quit smoking
Winter is most definitely the best time to kick the habit once and for all, because after all, who wants to leave the nice, warm indoors to go out and freeze just for a cigarette?! Beyond the obvious discomfort, smoking cigarettes during the winter puts you at a much higher risk of developing respiratory tract infections which tend to strike in winter.
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6. De-clutter your space
Many of us tend to buy more during winter and the holiday season, as well as receiving gifts from family and friends. Don’t let everything clutter up around you waiting for a spring clean-up. By having a good old de-clutter now you’ll release the tension and stress which a messy environment can bring, clearing your mind and allowing you to relax. Why not have a yard sale with the stuff you want to get rid of and donate the money to charity? Or see if any of your loved ones are looking for the things you no longer need?
7. Give your lymphatic system a helping hand
The lymphatic system is basically our bodies waste removal mechanism which constantly works to eliminate toxins which would otherwise build up and cause us harm. With the colder temperatures, endless holiday food and lack of exercise that winter often brings, our lymphatic system can slow down leaving us feeling sluggish and unwell. A great way to encourage it to keep flowing properly is by dry skin brushing for a few minutes every day. By brushing towards the heart, the dry bristles encourage both the lymph fluid and blood to flow eliminating any built-up toxins. Top this off with a relaxing Epsom salt bath and your body will definitely thank you for it!
8. Get on the yoga mat
If it’s just simply too cold for you to go outside for a run or walk, yoga is an excellent alternative to stay in shape during the winter. Get yourself a good, comfortable yoga mat and have a look on YouTube for some good daily flow suggestions. Or, if you’re already a yoga aficionado, step up your game with a more advanced practise to really get the blood flowing, the muscles working, and the mind focused.
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9. Buy some house plants
When things are dull, dreary and grey during the winter, why not bring the outdoors in with some beautiful new house plants? Not only will they brighten up your home with lavish greens, but they also clean the air and provide some well needed moisture. Research has also shown that having plenty of house plants has a relaxing effect on the mind and body.
10. Sip on a smoothie
The over indulgence that winter can bring can leave you feeling tired, sluggish, and demotivated. This is because your digestive system is working hard to process the overload of fats, sugars, and calories. Having a daily smoothie is an excellent way to quickly and easily dose up on vitamins and fibre to keep your digestive flora healthy. Try adding cinnamon for a festive touch that will also keep your blood sugars balanced throughout the day.
So there you have it: 10 easy to use tips that are sure to maintain wellness and keep you feeling your best during the winter months when the odds are against you. Try ticking them off one by one as you try them, and get into the habit of reminding yourself each day to stay on top of your health and wellbeing.