5 Simple Tips To Survive A Cold Winter
Winter can be a tough time for many of us. With the outdoor temperature dropping and lack of daytime sunlight, it’s a good time to reassess our self-care strategies that help us stay on top of our mental health and wellbeing. Here’s a few tips to keep you going throughout Winter:
With the freezing cold mornings, it can be difficult to get up and go outside however exposure to natural light is crucial for our mental health and sleep regulation. Try to get outdoors for at least 30 minutes each morning to help set your circadian rhythms and improve general mood throughout the day.
If you find it difficult to get outside, try a light therapy lamp. Light therapy lamps are designed to mimic the effects of natural sunlight and are often used to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a mental illness that occurs during the winter months when there is less natural light.
Move for joy
We all know regular exercise is important for our physical and mental health as it releases feel good endorphins. A moderate amount of regular exercise is the key to maintaining our mental health during winter, just makes sure it’s something you enjoy! Set up a routine that works for you with as little as 10 minutes a day. You don’t have to go hard at the gym every day to get benefits. Taking a brisk walk in your neighbourhood, working out with friends, or even dancing in your lounge-room are all great ways to get the heart rate up and blood pumping. Similarly, a full house clean or gardening in the backyard also contribute to daily activity, as does chasing around after kids in the backyard!
Eat a wide variety of foods
Eating a varied and balanced diet improves mood and energy levels by ensuring we’re getting an adequate amount of nutrients, vitamins and minerals. A lack of particular nutrients can lead to feelings of fatigue and low mood. Vitamin C, found in citrus fruits, broccoli, kale, and tomatoes can be a great way to fight off winter colds and build your immunity. Zinc and Iron may also be helpful, and Vitamin D found in sources like fatty fish, eggs, and fortified milk and cereals can ensure proper mood regulation. As a general rule, eating fruits, vegetables, and whole grains will help keep us energised and regular during winter.
Drink enough water
During the winter we tend to reach for hot drinks like coffee and tea to keep us warm. While coffee does have health benefits, it’s also important to remember that caffeine is a diuretic. This means that it can cause you to urinate more frequently and lead to dehydration. Remember to drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially if you’re having more than 2 cups of coffee otherwise herbal or green tea is also a great option.
Wash your hands
Medical experts are predicting a very harsh flu season after two years in lockdown during the pandemic. If the last couple of years has reminded us of anything, it’s the importance of regularly hand washing and hygiene to prevent the transmission of viruses. Washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before properly drying them with a hand dryer or clean towel, is the best way to remove germs and prevent the spread of illness. If you can't wash your hands, use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser instead.
Winter can be a tough time for many of us. The days are shorter, it's colder outside, and sometimes we just can’t seem to throw that doona off and get out of bed. By following just a few of these tips, we can help reduce our risk of getting sick while enhancing overall health and wellbeing.