Health and wellness tips for winter

by | Jun 27, 2016

Yikes! Lots of stuff is going on around us right now. Leafs are changing color and falling off the trees, the weather is turning dry and cold, the holidays are getting closer and flu and colds are spreading all over the place.

This accumulation of cold and dryness can cause changes to how we feel physically and emotionally. We may have more stress and anxiety, less energy, feel depressed and experience constipation or dry skin. If our immune system is not strong enough, this is also a very easy time to get sick.

So if everything around us is going crazy, how do we keep sane?

The answer is actually very logical. At the moment, our environment is characterized by movement, change, cold and dryness. To stay balanced, all we need to do is apply the opposites to these in our live. It’s all part of the wisdom of Ayurveda and it just makes absolute sense to me!

So here are my 5 health and wellness tips for winter:

1. Slow Down

This is the perfect time to take it easy. Start the day with a short meditation. Now you don’t have to take this too seriously. Just sit still and concentrate on your breath for 10 minutes, before you do anything else that day. It would be great if you can do the same thing before you go to sleep. And it’s ok to sleep a little more too, but try to go to bed earlier and still get up around sunrise.

2. Eat Seasonal, warm, moist food

Thank god nature gives us exactly what we need, so enjoy all the seasonal food from the markets right now. Seasonal eating is so important to me that I put in #2 on my list of health and wellness tips for winter. To counteract the cold, it’s advisable to eat warm dishes like soups, curries and roasted veggies. Winter squashes and root vegetables make for excellent soups and roasts.  All the greens and cabbages are chuck full of nutrition and will do great as winter salads and in juices and smoothies. You might notice you’re getting hungrier and that’s perfectly normal! So enjoy the heavy and sweet foods and add plenty of healthy oils.

3. Oil it up

And while we’re talking about oil, make sure to put it on your body as well! You can look at oil as the nutrition for your skin, so pick one that has only natural and nourishing ingredients.  If you are prone to have dry skin and feeling cold, a sesame oil will do really well. You can use any cold-pressed organic sesame oil (don’t get the dark, toasted variety unless you want to smell like a noodle shack!). And although I like to use plain sesame oil myself, I also love scented oils like the ones from Khadi or Bindi. They smell so good I want to hug myself!

4. Make it cozy

Hats, scarfs, gloves, leg warmers, blankets, candles, baths, tea, warm water bottles, books an movies. Make yourself warm and comfortable and enjoy it!  Take a thermos to work with warming ginger tea. Spend time with loved ones. Huddle up on the couch. Don’t feel bad for doing nothing. It is totally natural this time of year!

5. Boost your immune system

Last but not least on the list of health and wellness tips for winter is to boost your immune system!

You may already notice some viruses going around, I know I do! When people are full of snot it is THE time to make sure our immune systems are strong and to make it through the cold season full of energy and in a good mood. To start with, eat plenty of seasonal fruit and vegetables. I like to supplement my intake with juicing and smoothies. Sometimes we need a little extra support though, so here are my favorite supplements for good immunity:

  • Vitamin D3: take a minimum of 2000 IU per day. I love the liquid form!
  • Vitamin C: great natural sources of vitamin C are Amalaki and Camu Camu. Both are available in capsule or powder form.
  • Ashwagandha: an ayurvedic herb that fights stress and boosts energy, also available in powder or capsules.
  • Olive leaf extract: The oleuropein in olive leaf is a natural wide-spectrum antibiotic, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal.

These health and wellness tips for winter should help you to get through the cold and towards spring while staying healthy, happy and warm!

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