Winter wellness is crucial during the colder months when our bodies naturally seek comfort and warmth. It’s common for our motivation and focus on health to dwindle as memories of summer fade away. However, with a few simple warm-up tips, you can feel more energized, invigorated and have your healthiest winter yet!
Here are some tips to enhance your winter wellness routine:
1. Improve Your Sleep Quality for Winter Wellness
Sleep is always important for our health. It is a time for our body to regenerate, reinvigorate and prepare us for the day ahead. When we’re tired, it can be challenging to make good decisions for our health. This may mean reaching for the hot chips instead of the steamed greens in winter.
Sleep also gives us the energy we need to exercise, stay active and prioritize our wellbeing.
2. Move More – Stay Active
The cold weather in winter can be an easy turn-off for exercise, but it doesn’t have to be. There can be many enjoyable ways to stay active. Embrace the cold weather and get outside for a walk or to spend time in nature. Wear layered clothes so you can adapt to the changes outside.
3. Practice Positivity
It can be easy to become negative in winter with the shorter daylight hours, the colder weather and, at times, the incessant rain. Think about your favourite things you enjoy during winter. Is it the warm soups? Reading by the fire? Snuggling up in bed? Focus on what you love about winter and embrace more of these pleasures. It can be easy to stay holed up inside during winter and feel like it’s just a waiting game until Summer comes again. So get outside into the sun for your vitamin D dose – it will lift your mood and spirit. A positive mind means a happy and healthy body.
4. Engage in Activities that Bring You Joy
The colder, darker winter days can sometimes affect our mood and mental well-being. Practising self-care and prioritizing mental health becomes essential during this time.
Engage in activities that bring you joy and relaxation, such as reading, journaling, or practising mindfulness and meditation.
5. Enjoy Winter Produce and Embrace Warm, Nourishing Foods
Winter has plenty of delicious food to embrace and love. Citrus fruits such as lemons, mandarins and oranges are at their best in winter (perfect, as they are packed with Vitamin C – great for fighting off colds and infections).
Winter is also an ideal time to embrace roasts and warm salads. With cauliflower, potatoes, turnips, radishes, spinach, cabbage and leek all in season, it’s an opportunity to get creative with warming veggies packed full of nutrients necessary for good health.
Winter is also a great time to start enjoying a daily cup of broth; the minerals and nutrients will give your immune system the boost it needs to stay healthy.
6. Boost Your Immunity Naturally
During winter, supporting your immune system to ward off seasonal illnesses is crucial. In addition to consuming vitamin C-rich fruits like citrus, incorporate immune-boosting foods into your diet.
Include garlic, ginger, turmeric, and mushrooms, which have natural antimicrobial properties. Also, consider taking vitamin D and zinc supplements, as they are vital to immune function.
7. Stay Hydrated and Nourished
While we may not feel as thirsty during winter, staying adequately hydrated is essential. Cold weather and indoor heating can dehydrate the body.
Ensure you drink enough water throughout the day to keep your body functioning optimally. You can also enjoy herbal teas, warm lemon water, or homemade soups to stay hydrated and nourished.
8. Practice Dry Brushing
Dry brushing is a technique that involves using a dry brush to gently exfoliate the skin. It helps remove dead skin cells, stimulate circulation, and promote lymphatic drainage.
Regular dry brushing during winter can boost your energy levels, improve skin health, and support the body’s natural detoxification processes.
9. Stay Connected with Loved Ones
Winter can sometimes make us feel isolated, especially if outdoor activities are limited. It’s essential to stay connected with friends and family to combat feelings of loneliness.
Schedule virtual hangouts, game nights, social catch-ups or movie marathons to maintain social connections.
10. Maintain Your Oral Hygiene for All-Winter Wellness
It’s what we do at SHDC, so we couldn’t let a winter wellness guide be complete without a reminder about oral hygiene. Maintaining good oral hygiene in winter is as essential as any other season.
Ensure you have your 6-monthly check-up with the hygienist, and keep your focus on brushing and flossing daily to help prevent gum disease.
Often a sore throat or bad breath can indicate gum disease, but in winter, it can be easy to pass off as the beginnings of a cold, so we mask it with medication. Maintaining good oral hygiene minimises your risk of gum disease and many more related infections.
More Reading and Research References
BUPA provides a useful Guide to Winter Wellness.
British Heart Foundation offers advice on how to keep healthy and warm in winter.
Improve Your Sleep Quality for Winter Wellness: The National Sleep Foundation provides helpful information: Why Do We Need Sleep?
Move More – Stay Active: The Mayo Clinic discusses the benefits of regular physical activity: Exercise: 7 benefits of regular physical activity.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics talks about the benefits of seasonal eating: Eating Right with Seasonal Foods.
Boost Your Immunity Naturally: Harvard Health Publishing provides a guide on how to boost your immune system: How to boost your immune system.
Stay Hydrated and Nourished: The CDC in the US provides a guide on the importance of hydration: Get the Facts: Drinking Water and Intake.
Practice Positivity: The Mayo Clinic discusses the impact of positive thinking on health: Positive thinking: Reduce stress by eliminating negative self-talk
Practice Dry Brushing: Healthline provides an overview of the benefits of dry brushing: Dry Brushing: Benefits and How to Do It.
Stay Connected with Loved Ones: The American Psychological Association discusses the importance of social connections for health: The risks of social isolation.