Stay healthy & happy ahead of winter

Stay healthy & happy ahead of winter13 May 2024

The crisp autumn air has a chilly bite and the days are growing shorter – winter is on its way! There’s lots to love about winter - cozy moments by the fire and the beauty of snow-covered landscapes – but it also challenges our physical and mental wellbeing.

Here are a few simple tips to help you navigate into winter with good health and wellbeing.

Prepare for the winter now
Winterize your home by sealing drafts and servicing your heating system (stock up on firewood, clean heat pump filters, or get out heaters). Air out winter blankets or duvets to stay warm during chilly nights. Consider getting your annual flu jab and assess your winter wardrobe.

Nourish your body with seasonal fresh produce
Winter often tempts us with comfort foods, but it's essential to maintain a balanced diet rich in nutrients. Incorporate seasonal fruits and vegetables like citrus fruits, kale, squash, and sweet potatoes into your meals. These foods are not only delicious but also provide essential vitamins and antioxidants to support your immune system and energy levels.

Stay hydrated
It's easy to forget to drink enough water when the weather turns cold, but staying hydrated is just as important in winter as it is in summer. Aim to drink plenty of water throughout the day and consider warming up with herbal teas like chamomile or ginger, which can also help boost your immunity and soothe winter colds.

Move your body
Exercise is crucial for maintaining both physical and mental wellbeing - even when it's cold outside! Find activities you enjoy, whether it's a brisk walk in the fresh air, yoga in the comfort of your home, or a dance class with friends. Regular movement not only strengthens your body but also lifts your spirits and combats seasonal blues.

Prioritise sleep
With longer nights and shorter days, winter is the perfect time to prioritise restorative sleep. Create a calming bedtime routine, limit screen time before bed, and ensure your sleeping environment is comfortable and conducive to relaxation. Quality sleep is essential for immune function, mood regulation, and overall health.

Embrace sunlight when you can
Although the sun may seem elusive during the winter months, exposure to natural light is crucial for maintaining your body's internal clock and mood balance. Whenever possible, spend time outdoors during daylight hours, even if it's just a brief walk or sitting by a sunny window.

Practice self-care
Carve out moments for self-care and relaxation. Set aside time for mindful activities that bring you joy and recharge your spirit, whether it's reading a book, taking a long bath, or practicing meditation. Remember that self-care looks different for everyone, so prioritise whatever nourishes your mind, body, and soul.

Stay social and connected
Social connections are vital for our wellbeing, especially during the winter when it's easy to feel isolated. Make an effort to stay connected with friends and loved ones, whether it's through virtual meet-ups, regular phone calls, or outdoor activities. Building and maintaining relationships provides support, laughter, and a sense of belonging, all of which are essential for staying well.

Be kind to yourself
Lastly, remember to be gentle with yourself as you navigate through the winter season. It's normal to have ups and downs, and it's okay to ask for help when you need it. Practice self-compassion to look after your mental health and wellbeing. Remind yourself that you're doing the best you can, even on the coldest of days.

We hope you embrace winter with vitality, resilience, and a sense of wellbeing. Bundle up and savor the beauty of the season!