Winter wellness: tips for staying healthy during the chilly season

Winter wellness: tips for staying healthy during the chilly season

As the temperature drops and the days grow shorter, it's essential to prioritise our health and wellbeing during the winter months.

The cold weather, coupled with flu season, can pose challenges to our immune systems and overall wellness. However, with some proactive steps and healthy habits, you can navigate through winter with vitality and resilience.

Here are some tips to help you stay healthy during the chilly season …

Maintain a balanced diet

During winter, it's tempting to indulge in comfort foods, but it's crucial to maintain a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. These foods provide essential nutrients and antioxidants that support your immune system and overall health. Incorporate seasonal produce like citrus fruits, kale, and squash into your meals for an extra boost of vitamins and minerals.

Stay hydrated

It's easy to forget to drink enough water when it's cold outside, but staying hydrated is just as important in winter as it is in summer. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your body hydrated and functioning optimally. Herbal teas, broths, and warm water with lemon are excellent alternatives to cold beverages.

Get adequate sleep

Quality sleep is essential for overall health and immunity. Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep per night and establish a relaxing bedtime routine to help you unwind and prepare for restful sleep. Keep your bedroom dark, quiet, and at a comfortable temperature to promote better sleep.

Stay active

Don't let the cold weather be an excuse to hibernate indoors all winter. Regular exercise is vital for maintaining a healthy immune system and managing stress. Bundle up and go for a walk, try indoor activities like yoga or dancing, or join a gym or fitness class to stay active during the winter months.

Practice good hygiene

With flu season in full swing, practicing good hygiene habits can help prevent the spread of illness. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, especially before eating or touching your face. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your elbow when you cough or sneeze and avoid close contact with sick individuals whenever possible.

Stay warm and dry

Dress appropriately for the weather by layering clothing and wearing hats, gloves, and scarves to stay warm when venturing outdoors. Wet and cold conditions can weaken your immune system, so be sure to stay dry and change out of damp clothing promptly.

Prioritise mental health

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) affects many people during the winter months due to reduced sunlight exposure. If you experience symptoms of depression or low mood, seek support from a mental health professional. Light therapy, counselling, and self-care practices can help alleviate symptoms and improve your overall wellbeing.

Stay connected

Maintain social connections with friends and family to combat feelings of loneliness and isolation that can occur during winter. Whether it's through video calls, socially distanced gatherings, or handwritten notes, staying connected can provide a sense of warmth and belonging during the colder months.

By incorporating these tips into your winter routine, you can support your health and wellbeing and thrive during the chilly season. Remember to listen to your body, prioritise selfcare, and seek medical attention if you experience any concerning symptoms. With a proactive approach to winter wellness, you can stay healthy and resilient all season long.

 

Dr Eunise Yeo for Docklands Health

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Meet Peta Brehaut

May 29th, 2024 - Docklands News
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