We're in the depths of winter; it's the time for cocooning inside by a warm fire, soup on the stove, and long, relaxed evenings. It's also the time for battling ice and snow, shoveling off the car, and scampering over snowbanks to get anywhere.
These ten strategies will help you weather the elements, and most of all, stay healthy and happy until warmer climes and greener times come our way. Consider it your cheat sheet for getting to April with a spring in your step!
Your Winter Cheat Sheet
1. Drink tons of water with lemon or lime. All day, every day. The Vitamin C from citrus fruits is a natural flu busting & immune boosting force, and water keeps everything moving. Add some cayenne for added protection from bugs.
2. Eat warm food. Raw foods such as salads are hard on your body at this time of year. Move towards warming soups and stews instead. Trust me, it really does make a difference. I guarantee this cheat will make your winter healthier.
3. Eat spicy food. There’s a good reason the spiciest food comes from the hottest countries: it actually kills bacteria. It also increases the release of endorphins (happy hormones, and yes, these keep you healthy too).
4. Take vitamin D. Adults should take 2000 IU daily throughout the winter. Vitamin D improves your immunity, your mood, and your energy. It's sunshine in a bottle!
5. Include probiotics. The ‘good guys’ of the bacteria world, probiotics are a great habit year-round. Buy the brand in the fridge and take it every day for digestive health and insurance against gastro viruses.
6. Plan time with friends. It's easy to take that 'cocoon' thing to the extreme. Social connections are the stuff of life, so force yourself out the door, whether it be lunch, dinner, a concert, or best of all, a dance party.
7. Be kind to yourself. Naps are allowed in winter. They just are. Get a massage, buy something new, take a bath, and generally treat yourself with loving kindness.
8. Get outside. Fresh air is good for the mind, the body, and the soul. Most of us don't get enough of it at this time of year. Bundle up and go for a walk. You'll be glad you did.
9. Get enough sleep. We need much more sleep than we do in July. Have a catnap when you need it and get a solid eight hours each night. For bonus points, keep electronics out of your bedroom.
10. Keep exercising. Even if you feel like curling up in a little ball and never leaving the couch, force yourself to do something physical every day. It will make your winter that much brighter and healthier