Keeping yourself in tip-top shape means changing your routine with the seasons and putting extra precautions in place when your body might not be in its top operating environment. Providing service to others, no matter what that looks like, means being in a state with yourself where you are able to provide that service healthily and happily. If you are working your magic of well-being in the winter months, there are some important extra precautions to put into place that may help keep you in fighting-for-good shape.
Exposure to cold weather has been proven to affect the body’s immune response. This means that it may be easier for common viruses and bacteria to take hold in your body. A cold that may not touch you in the summer when your body is functioning at its peak can turn around in winter and put you down for the count. However, a few simple tweaks to your routine can get you through winter anywhere with a clean bill of health.
Rest, Rest, Rest
It is normal in our society to push ourselves beyond our limits. However, when you are being realistic in service to your world and yourself, you also need to understand that pushing your body beyond its limits is not good for anyone involved. When your body tells you that you should rest, you should listen to it! Your body knows what it needs, and if you are unusually tired, there is something going on that your body needs to heal from.
Get Plenty of Fluids
In winter we ingest less water naturally. Without the heat and drying properties of the summer sun, we can forget about the importance of water. But indoor heating and even the lower humidity that is common in winter can dry out our bodies. It is just as important to hydrate in winter as it is in summer. If you struggle with this, get a motivating reusable water bottle that will help you track your intake. Adequate water intake may also help your body rid itself of bacteria and other toxins.
Take Your Vitamins
Taking immune-supporting vitamins, such as elderberry vitamins, can be crucial in the winter. In the summer months, it is more common for us to get plenty of energy and nutrients from the sun, our diets, and our active lifestyles. In winter when we rely more on preserved produce and may be less inclined to go outside and get active, including immune-supporting supplements can make the difference between a cold and a happy day. Other great choices for immune boosters are vitamin C, vitamin B6, and vitamin E.
Get Your Exercise
Our ancestry sees winter as a time of holing up. People worked in the warm months to prepare for the cold months when they could hunker down and survive the often harsh winters, or at least times when food and amenities may be more scarce than usual. But staying active even during cold months is extremely important. Keeping your body healthy and getting your sweat on regularly can help prevent illness as much if not more than taking a regular immune-boosting supplement.
Lower Your Stress Levels
Even if you are lucky enough to be one of the people who does not struggle with Seasonal Affective Disorder, the lack of good sunlight hours during the winter months can contribute to feeling a lower steady emotional level than you normally feel during the active summer months. This can lead to higher stress levels, a shorter temper, and even general feelings of unease and discomfort. Make lowering your stress a priority in whatever way works best for you — try breathing exercises, yoga, quiet time, or even just doing something you highly enjoy.
Living your best life for yourself and the world around you is easily attainable when you release the things that are holding you back and embrace the things that can push you forward. Focusing on your health in months where your body is not at its strongest can make a big difference for your overall feelings and attitude all year round. Remember that being good to yourself will automatically allow you to be better to everything around you, and that self-care is never selfish.