Cold weather sets in. Sniffles appear. Energy dwindles as the days become shorter.
It’s increasingly more appealing to snuggle up at home than be active elsewhere, and heartier, richer foods are more attractive than the light and lean meals from our summer days. Welcome, autumn! Where the impeding wintertime is right around the corner.
It’s so easy to lose touch with the vibrancy and energy so many of us feel in the spring and summer months.
After all, when the days are long and bright and the air feels warm and welcoming on your skin, it’s much easier to be active and healthy—people aren’t cooped up inside, germs aren’t spreading like wildfire, and the outdoors are your oyster to walk, run, bike, hike, swim and play in. But what would life be without even the most minor of these changes in seasons? We need the push and pull of this changing energy to cycle us through this thing we call life.
Taking care of ourselves through the midst of it all is the key—not to resist these changes, but work with them. In colder months, the key is to keep ourselves well enough to combat the spreading colds, flu and winter blues.
Here are a few helpful, simple tips to keep your health strong in the coming months:
Eat for Wellness
You know the drill: load up on those fruits and vegetables for optimal health! Choose seasonal produce that’s nourishing in the colder weather and will have a more grounding, warming effect than lighter, raw foods. Examples include cooked sweet potatoes, carrots, squash, zucchini and sautéed greens as veggies, and apples, bananas, avocado and pears as fruits. Load up on whole grains such as quinoa, rice and oats, legumes such as lentils and beans, and snack on nuts and seeds. Of course, lean meats and fish can always contribute towards a balanced diet.
We know 7-8 hours of sleep per night is ideal for most adults, so strive towards it! Our bodies heal and repair themselves when we sleep optimally. Rest is also important in your waking hours, too. Cultivate the time to sip a warm cup of tea/coffee in the morning or evening to wind down with something good to read; enjoy your dinner with loved ones, savoring each bite; sleep in at least once per week. Rest. Revive. Restore.
Bump Your Immunity
Combat the germs and flu by boosting your immune system. Certain foods are high in antioxidants which naturally help your immunity, such as berries and dark leafy vegetables. Foods like garlic, lemon, cinnamon and raw honey are anti-bacterial and anti-viral in nature, so supplementing with these is a smart choice. Therapeutic-grade essential oils such as oregano, peppermint and tea tree may also promote respiratory and immune function when taken internally.
Stretch, Sweat & Move
You may feel like hibernating all the time, but don’t! Even gentle exercise will promote detoxification, cleanse your internal organs, and strengthen your joints and muscles for a feel-good body all winter long. Sure, there’s the gym for a good sweat session, but also consider slower movement such as yoga or Pilates. Take time each day to stretch a little bit, even if only for 5 minutes. Consider an infrared sauna to sweat toxins out, burn calories, improve circulation and re-invigorate your energy. A strong, healthy body always feels better and bounces back from sickness more easily.
Cleanse Your Environment
Wipe away lingering germs on surfaces and in the air, especially at your place of work and even at home. For a natural approach, try a few drops of lemon, tea tree, or eucalyptus essential oil on a cloth or diluted with water in a spray bottle to wipe on surfaces—these oils kill germs due to their anti-bacterial nature. Try also a diffuser to purify and cleanse the air. Most importantly of all, stop the spread of germs in the first place—don’t forget to wash your hands often!
It’s easy for the winter blues to sneak up on us. Create a gratitude practice to remind yourself of the things you are grateful and happy for in life, and your mental and emotional mindset will start to shift for a happier outlook. Keep a small journal to write one or two things before bed each night as you reflect on the day, or start your morning with a little mantra of appreciation for all of life’s blessings to carry with you into the day ahead. A little goes a long way!
Work with a Wellness Coach
If you like what you’ve read here, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us! Our Wellness Coach is here to talk about other ways to keep you feeling vibrantly well, the challenges you face in maintaining your health, and working through your unique situations to reach your wellness goals with greater ease and enjoyment. Wellness Coaching is designed to support and guide you along the way, in the ways you need it most.
Here’s to vibrant health as the seasons change!
About The Author
Kaley Moore is the Wellness Coach at Integrative Wellness Centers. She holds her BA in Interdisciplinary Health Studies from Michigan State University and is a certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. She is driven by the mission to help you restore meaningful health and wellness. Having suffered with multiple health conditions from a young age, Kaley has learned first-hand how our food choices affect so much more than what goes on our plate. Coupled with lifestyle management and a simplified approach to nutrition, she brings her 10+ years of experience working closely with individuals and families to offer a holistic perspective in living a balanced, nourished life.