There is striking importance in caring for our health. No matter how old you are or where you are based, there is always room for improvement when it comes to putting our health first.
What determines good health varies from one person to the next. While it can be easy to compare your overall health to other people, this should be avoided. Many health conditions are rarely visible but can still impact the day-to-day routine of the person living with them. Being mindful of this is useful going forward and is something that should be implemented every day.
Naturally, with the cold and flu season upon us, we feel confident there will be many people reading this and beyond who are wondering the different ways they can look after themselves. Particularly if you live with an existing health condition, this might be a factor you have already considered. Still, what if you are late to the party and only giving this focus now?
Fear not, for you have found yourself in the right place at the right time. Detailed below, you will find the ultimate guide to looking after your health in the colder months. Packed full of tips and tricks, let’s get right into it, shall we?
Eat a Healthy and Balanced Diet
If you are anything like us, the colder and darker months make our favorite comfort foods appear more comforting! While there is nothing wrong with indulging in the odd treat, you must keep a level head and remember the importance of eating a balanced diet.
It is estimated that roughly ninety percent of Americans do not eat enough fruit and vegetables. Naturally, this is not a happy statistic and should be something to take into consideration when considering your own eating habits, but it is all the more critical in the winter months.
Fruit and vegetables provide our bodies with the vitamins they require to function properly. Eating a healthy and balanced diet is important all year round, but especially during the colder months. We tend to get Vitamin D from the sun. As expected, with reduced hours of sunlight, there will be a decrease in the amount of Vitamin D that we are absorbing.
Eating a diet that is packed full of vitamins will help support your immune system during this time, particularly important when Coronavirus is still present.
Drink Enough Water and Remain Hydrated
We are all guilty of not drinking enough water from time to time, us included! For the most part, it is a relatively harmless thing to do, but you should make a conscious effort to minimize the regularity of not drinking water. After all, our bodies are made up of sixty percent water; this is a critical thing that our bodies need to survive.
As expected, those reading this and beyond most likely make an effort to drink enough water and stay hydrated during the warmer summer months. While this is important for all, you should also make an effort to drink enough in the winter too, for it is just as critical for your body.
However, you might find yourself asking, “Can you drink too much water?” A good question to ask when in this position, but one that you should not stress out over. While drinking between two and a half and three liters of water a day is recommended, check out this article to calm any worries you might have concerning overhydration.
Prioritize Your Mental Health and Well-Being
Much like our previous suggestions, looking after your mental health is important all year round, and you should practice well-being techniques where necessary. The effects of the seasons on our mental health can be seen in conditions like Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
People living with this condition experience depression during particular times of year but are most commonly experienced during the winter. Dull weather tends to influence our mood at the best of times, but more so during this period. Colder and wetter weather tends to lead to fewer social plans, which could have a knock-on effect on how you feel overall.
That being said, there are many ways you can positively contribute to your mental health and well-being, which can be done from the comfort of your own home and elsewhere. It is often recommended to partake in a favorite hobby to practice self-care; this can include listening to your favorite artist or reading a book.
At the same time, guided meditations and breathing techniques are also said to help when looking after your mental health and can be used in moments of calm, as well as moments of panic. On the other hand, there are a variety of resources on offer from reputable mental health organizations, including the American Psychological Association and others.
The amount of sleep you receive can also impact how you are feeling emotionally; this takes us to the final point in this piece.
Get a Decent Night’s Sleep
Our sleeping patterns tend to be relatively routine, especially when working full time or looking after your children. While that is very well the case, your sleeping pattern could take a bit of a knock in the winter months due to the change in temperature and sunlight hours. The temptation to stay in bed that little longer in the mornings is high, but you should do what you can to resist!
If you find you are struggling to maintain a healthy sleeping pattern during the winter months, consider cutting down on the amount of caffeine you are consuming; this is a significant contributor to how awake you will be feeling. Linking closely with the previous recommendation, should you find yourself struggling to sleep due to a racing mind packed with thoughts, consider keeping a journal and writing down how you are feeling before settling down for the night.
Trying different methods to get a good night’s sleep is recommended; what might work for someone else is not certain to work for you. Finding a unique solution to your sleep troubles will go a long way and leave you feeling well-rested.