If there’s one thing you can do to do your future self a huge favor, it’s preparing your body for winter in advance. Nobody seems to see it coming and then – BAM! – it’s freezing cold, nobody can be bothered to do anything, and routines seem all out of whack and difficult to keep up with. If you want to suffer less in winter, or at least give yourself a better chance of having a good time, there are a few things you can do to prepare your body. Read on for some advice:
- Reduce Your Work Out Frequency
If you’re already in a good workout routine, it might be time to gently reduce your work out frequency. Working out 5 days a week or more might be realistic during summer when it’s warm, moods are high, and possibilities seem endless. However, people tend to slow down in winter. The last thing you want is to beat yourself up because you don’t feel as productive as you once were. It all depends on your energy levels, but you may want to decrease the frequency to 3-4 times a week. If you’re not currently in a great routine, working on getting into one before the seriously cold days hit will ensure you find it a little easier to get moving.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a gym membership – working out at home is still great, and is probably even better for those who don’t even feel like leaving the house when it’s freezing cold out. Don’t feel pressured to work out a certain way or in a certain place just because other people are doing it. You can do whatever works for you, as long as you’re working on keeping your body healthy. Don’t forget that it’ll have a great effect on your mind too, as endorphins and other happy hormones will be released that we tend to really need in winter. You could find that a regular workout routine helps you to fight off feelings of depression.
- Change Your Skincare Routine
This may not apply to everybody, but some people find that their skin type changes with the seasons. Those who had more oily or normal skin during summer may find that their skin leans on the dryer side during winter. If your skin does tend to be dryer, switch out one product at a time to notice the effects. Remember that a new product can take at least 3 weeks to work, and that you shouldn’t change too much at once or you won’t know what has made the biggest difference! Here are some products that could help to increase hydration in the skin:
- Rosehip oil
- A gel toner
- A milky/cream/oil cleanser
- A rich moisturizer
- Hyaluronic acid
Don’t forget that you should continue to apply SPF each day, as whether the sun is shining or not, the rays can damage the skin.
- Look At Introducing New Supplements To Your Diet
Winter time could be the best time to introduce new supplements to your routine. Vitamin D is a great supplement, as many people do not get enough sunlight as it is, let alone during winter time. If you need more immune support, looking at echinacea purpurea benefits may give you an idea of whether it’s a good addition to your routine. B12 can be a great supplement for your energy levels. Of course, you should check with your GP before taking anything new, follow the instructions and dosage, and if you notice adverse effects then stop taking immediately.
- Get a SAD Lamp
Now, this may not apply to you, so again it’s important to ask your GP for help if you’re unsure. However, a SAD lamp could be just what you’ve been missing during the winter months. Many people find themselves feeling low and depressed, and it comes on all of a sudden. These people have just accepted this as something that happens when winter arrives, but there’s an actual name for it – ‘seasonal affective disorder.’ This is a very real form of depression that people get during winter, that leaves them even less motivated and more unhappy. A good SAD lamp is classed as a medical device, so it’s not something you should purchase without prior research. The light shines on your face for a short while in the morning, and many people find themselves happier and more motivated for the rest of the day.
- Build Meals Around In Season Produce
Don’t stick to the same old meals. Winter calls for more comforting meals. Just make sure you build your meals around the in-season produce available to you at sustainable shops and markets. Try to find in season fruits and vegetables and base your meals around them as much as you can. This can also be a good time to overhaul your shopping habits and start buying your foods from reliable, eco-friendly places.
- Prioritize Your Sleep
If you’ve been burning the candle at both ends, now is a great time to turn things around. There’s only so long you can keep this up for. Prioritizing your sleep is crucial if you want to keep your appetite in check, feel more motivated, and keep stress and anxiety at bay. Of course, there are an abundance of benefits to getting more sleep. In fact, University of Chicago researchers found that cutting back on sleep leads to your body producing fewer flu-fighting antibodies, so if you’re not getting enough sleep then you leave yourself more susceptible to various illness and other issues.
- Don’t Forget To Stay Hydrated
People don’t tend to prioritize drinking water and staying hydrated in the winter as much as they do in the summertime. Staying hydrated year round is essential for health. Plus, drinking plain water all day long keeps your energy levels up, boosts your immune system, aids digestion and helps skin stay moisturized. You can hydrate by drinking sugar free juice and eating watery fruit, too, but plain water is always going to be the best choice. If you need a little flavor, consider adding fruit slices to your water. Whatever you do, don’t guzzle down coffee and tea without drinking plain water, as they can dehydrate you rather than hydrate you.
- Get Into A Good Routine
Getting into a routine now will help you later on. Think of what you’d like to achieve over the winter, whether that’s work based goals or simply being well. Come up with a plan to achieve those goals that you know you’ll be able to stick to during winter – don’t kid yourself. Remember that you’ll probably feel low on energy and get tired earlier. Plan ahead for this! Winter is a great time to reflect and make plans too. People tend to think that we need to be super productive year round, always rushing around, doing new things and coming up with new ideas. This is a very capitalist structure, and many people end up crumbling under the pressure of it. We all need to take some time off, so if your routine involves sleeping, eating well, and just doing what you have to do, so be it. Now is a great time to prioritize your mental health!
- Try A Dawn Simulator Alarm Clock
If you struggle to get up in the morning and need a little boost, then a dawn simulator alarm clock could be perfect for you. It also gives you a reason to keep your phone out of the bedroom. Using a phone alarm to get up in the morning is convenient, but it also tempts us to scroll social media and check out notifications the second we wake up. Instead, keep your phone out of the room and use an alarm clock like this one to wake you up more naturally. This can help you if you’re trying to get into a healthier sleep routine, and there’s also a feature that simulates the sun setting so you can wind down and doze off more easily.
- Double Down On Your Mental Health
There’s no better time to double down on your mental health than winter. Put a focus on how you feel, your mindset, and what you can change to feel better on a normal day. Summer can be so busy that our mental health gets swept under the rug, but the quiet winter time means we often have to deal with it. Make it your mission to improve your mental health so you can come out of winter on the other side stronger than ever. You could try getting into a meditation practice, journaling, or doing something else that works for you. There are all kinds of self directed therapy you could try.
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