Getting Through the Winter Healthy And Happy
"Winter forms our character and brings out our best."
– Tom Allen
I think this winter, more than ever, our minds are on staying healthy. No one wants to end up with a nasty cold or the flu. I know I don't.
Not being a fan of winter, I want it gone as quickly as possible. It seems, at least to me, that winter sticks around forever. Unlike summer, which always seems to go in the blink of an eye. Why is that?
I am sharing some tips on getting through the winter healthy and happy.
Be sure to dress warmly. I know I can't be happy if I am cold. Even if it's only a trip to the store, you should put a hat on your head, a scarf around your neck, and your warmest gloves on. I spend the winter in warm fleece pants and shirts. And I have fleece sheets on my bed.
I think I stay cold until about the middle of June.
Get in sort form of daily exercise. Myself, I am not likely to wander out into the cold for my workout. I do admire those that enjoy the outdoors and cold in the winter. But it's just not me. Exercise not only helps your mood and state of happiness, but it works wonders for your health. So be sure to include at least 20-30 minutes of exercise per day. Indoors or outdoors, whichever you prefer.
"Nothing burns like the cold."
- George R.R. Martin
Get out and about. I am talking about getting out and socializing. Meet a friend for coffee. Make some dinner plans. Don't just sit at home moping all winter.
Stop thinking about the things you don't like about winter. Instead, think about the little things you may like about winter. Maybe it's drinking more hot chocolate or sitting by a fire in the fireplace reading a good book—more time to binge-watch your favorites on Netflix.
Or maybe one of your favorite things is to cuddle up in some warm fleecy sweats or PJ's and watch the snowfall.
Okay, so you don't like what you see outside your windows in the winter. So how about spending some time planning things you want to do when the warm weather returns. Plan out a few day trips, weekend trips, or maybe an extended vacation. But plan it out now and take your mind off your winter woes.
Enjoy all the hot beverages. Try new teas, try some of the flavored hot chocolates. I enjoy the one with caramel. Coffee lovers should try some flavored coffees and some of those flavored creamers that are so popular.
Winter is the perfect time for healthy and filling comfort food like soups and stews. Maybe even a hearty chicken pot pie.
"Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is time for home."
- Edith Sitwell
Get a flu shot. I just started getting the flu shot the last couple of years. Maybe it's an age thing. I had a pneumonia shot last year and again this year, so I am supposedly good for life. Oh, and I also did the whole Shingles shot thing last year. Better safe than sorry.
Essential supplements to take-
Start with Vitamin D, the good old sunshine vitamin.
Vitamin C is vital to reduce the severity of a cold if you end up with one. Be sure to consume lots of citrus fruit this winter. Vitamin C strengthens your immune system, so eat up.
I am not a fan of the cold and snow, but it is essential to get outside, yes, even during the winter months. Take a short walk or spend time building a snowman. Maybe even do some ice skating or skiing. But do try to spend a little time outdoors each day. Breath in some fresh air and, if lucky, get a bit of the winter sunshine.
And I am sure we all know to stay away from those who are sick. Just use some plain common sense. If someone is coughing and sneezing, it might be best to avoid getting close to them if possible. Of course, if it's a family member, that is a different situation.
Stay hydrated. You still need to aim for eight glasses of water a day. Keep in mind that drinks that contain caffeine don't count toward a daily quota.
That's sad, huh, I mean, they contain water, and I consume a lot of coffee during the day. We should get at least partial credit.
Get enough sleep. Staying well-rested will help keep your immune system healthy.
And of course, it goes without saying I am sure, but don't forget to wash your hands. Wash your hands, and wash your hands some more.
"People don't notice whether it's winter or summer when they're happy."
- Anton Chekhov
So what do you do to keep yourself healthy and happy during the winter months?