You can enjoy a healthy and happy winter filled with fun and excitement instead of stress and illness with these essential habits.
Winter can be a challenging time. Coughs and colds, and this year, Covid-19, are everywhere, and it’s normal to get ill at least once. Our skin is dry and sore, our lips chapped, and our hair brittle. You might feel as though you are constantly busy, especially in the run-up to the holidays, and dull, grey days often take their toll on our mental health. In winter, it can be harder to sleep, to relax, and to work productively. It’s harder to stay healthy, and even the simplest of tasks can seem more difficult on a cold, wet day than they would in the summer months.
Many of us face both mental and physical health battles when it’s colder, and it can feel as though you are never quite yourself, instead always tired, rundown and moody, or full of cold.
But, it doesn’t have to be like this. You can enjoy a healthy and happy winter filled with fun and excitement instead of stress and illness with the right habits. Here are some great habits that you might want to implement this winter.
It can be harder to find the motivation to exercise when it’s cold and the days seem so much shorter. But, you haven’t actually got fewer hours, it’s just not light for as long, and there’s no reason you have to exercise outdoors if you aren’t comfortable doing so. Head to the gym, practice yoga or home workouts, or even get into the habit of walking to work.
Getting even a little exercise a day can boost your mood and energy levels while helping your circulation, heart health, and immune system, so it’s certainly worth doing, even if you have to force yourself.
Maintaining soft, healthy skin in harsh weather isn’t easy. Many of us are prone to dryness and red spots when it’s cold and windy. But, there are plenty of things that you can do to improve your skin in the winter.
The causes of dry skin on your face can be different for everyone, but harsh wind and cold temperatures typically play a part. The best thing that you can do to fight these is to develop a daily routine. Get into good habits, like taking your makeup off when you get home for the day, applying daily moisturizers, washing in warm water, and using delicate products.
But, these daily practices might not be enough when your skin is suffering. Regular indulgence with face masks, exfoliators, deep cleansers, and intense moisturizers, and extra hydration might also be essential. Treating yourself like this can also boost your mood and decrease your stress levels.
Your hands and lips might have a particularly challenging time in the winter, so make sure they are protected with gloves and gentle balms and regularly treated to an intensive moisturizer.
One of the most important things that you can do for your body and mind in winter is sleep. But sleep isn’t always easy.
Get into a good routine with regular bedtimes, wake up times, remove distractions from your bedroom, and cut caffeine after dinner. Exercising and reducing the sugar in your diet could also help, and if you are struggling to sleep because of stress or tension, try talking to someone instead of bottling things up and spending the night worrying.
Another super simple way to give yourself a boost in the wintertime is drinking more water. It’s common to drink more alcohol over the holidays, and most of us will reach for a hot coffee when it’s cold outdoors. But, while lovely in moderation, alcohol, and caffeine can dehydrate us and make it hard to sleep. Practice drinking more water throughout the day to hydrate, boosting your immune system and protecting your skin.
Know When to Stop
We’re all guilty of taking too much on at times. None more so than in the approach to Christmas when we’re keen to make everyone happy and have a giant to-do list.
Knowing when to stop, and perhaps more importantly, when and how to say no, can help you reduce stress and stay healthy and happy. Leave Christmas stress behind, make lists and stick to them, and stop trying to please everyone. Recognize your limits, and practice self-care by staying within them.
Good Hygiene Practices
In the winter, especially this year, good hygiene is more important than ever. Hopefully, you are already washing your hands more regularly. But, you can also prevent the spread of disease, including normal winter colds and bugs, by wiping sides and touchpoints at home, washing bedding, and throwing away tissues.
Listen to Your Body
If you are tired, sleep. If your body aches, take a long relaxing bath. If you are feeling stressed out, speak with someone. Listen to your body, learn to recognize the warning signs that it needs more from you, and respond accordingly.
Be Proactive, Not Reactive
Most of us will only take time off work when we are so ill we can no longer go in. We only take vitamins when we start to feel ill, and we only rest when we can’t carry on. We’re reactive to our symptoms, treating them when they hold us back.
Instead, this winter, try to be proactive. Get more rest, even when you aren’t exhausted. Take vitamins, or add extra fruit and veg to your diet, and take time off from your schedule as soon as you start to feel unwell, instead of waiting until it’s too much. You’ll recover quicker and get ill far less frequently.
Stretching is so beneficial. Stretching before exercise reduces the risks of injury, and stretching after can relieve aches and pains the day after. Stretching when you get up in the morning can boost circulation and help you to feel more alert. Stretching can reduce blood pressure and help you to relax and reduce stress. Simple daily yoga practices throughout the winter can decrease stress and boost your health.