Colder weather- love it or hate it? For some, the start of the autumn creeping in signals cozy movie nights and roaring fires, hot chocolate, fluffy throws and eventually the countdown to Christmas. For others, it’s grey skies, wet pavement, freezing cold mornings and a general sense of dullness and depression. Whatever your views on the upcoming season change, it’s important to take care of your health since there are some additional things to bear in mind. Here’s what you need to know.
Regularly Wash Your Hands
The colder months always see an increase in illnesses, one of the main reasons for this is that people spend more time indoors and in confined areas. This allows germs and bugs to easily pass amongst people. There’s, of course, no way to avoid sick people completely, but you can massively reduce your chances of getting ill by regularly washing your hands.
Since certain illnesses can live on door handles, shopping cart handles, on bannisters, keyboards and other surfaces you don’t even need to be around coughing or sneezing individuals to pick them up. A bottle of hand sanitizer in your bag is useful for when you can’t get to a sink.
Continue Your Healthy Lifestyle
It’s easy to eat healthily over the warmer months. Light salads for lunch, veggie stir-fries, generally light and fresh meals are what we all prefer when the sun is out. Winter can cause many of us to overeat, and it’s actually a drive that still exists within us from our early human ancestors. Throughout dark and cold winters food sources would be more scarce, and so we’d eat more to store fat for fuel to last us throughout these leaner times.
It’s easier than you might think to eat healthily while still enjoying comforting foods. Get out your slow cooker, add lots of vegetables and some meat to the pot and you can enjoy stews, curries, chilies, and other nutrient-packed, delicious dishes.
Exercise is another area that might start going downhill when the cold weather hits, if you mainly exercised outside and enjoyed things like pool swims, yoga on the beach and jogging at the park then these will be no good when it’s gale-force winds, rain, and snow. Consider hitting the gym, or working out from home. Try a new exercise class, use it as an opportunity to switch things up!
Consider Your Mental Health
When the weather is awful outside it can feel like we’re pretty much confined to the house. But it doesn’t have to be this way, just because you can’t go for sunny walks with your dog or sit in the garden doesn’t mean you have to become a hermit. Make an effort to get out of the house and go to new places since this can prevent your mental health from spiraling downwards.
Why not sign up to a class or course at your local community center or library, anything from cooking to flower arranging to art. Think of fun, indoor activities- museums and galleries, shopping days with your friends, lunch at a cafe or a dinner out at a restaurant with your partner.
If you do notice your mental health taking a turn for the worst, be sure to speak to your GP and get the help you need. There are some great options these days, you don’t need to take pills if you don’t want to. You could try neurofeedback, counseling or the lifestyle changes they recommend.
Take Care of Yourself In the Colder Seasons
It is totally possible to take care of yourself in the colder seasons. You just need to be proactive.
Do you typically get sick in the colder seasons? What are your favorite ways to stay healthy?