I don’t know about you but winter (yes, even here in San Diego) leaves me feeling a bit sleepy and antsy at the same time. The holidays come with tons of fun activities; parities, family and friend time, but for many it also leaves us feeling stressed, overwhelmed and exhausted afterwards. Stress hormones can wreak havoc on our bodies causing our immune systems to become depleted. Have you ever wondered why so many of us get sick around or right after the holidays? It’s because of this stress and the gathering with lots of people in closed up houses. There is a plague sweeping through my work right now which I have been able to avoid but if you or a loved one sadly has the flu check out my past post about “Easing Flu Symptoms Naturally” to help make it though. Here are four things that I do to help me stay healthy, feel more connected to nature, and fully enjoy the winter season.
- Watch the sunset or sunrise as often as possible: I miss the light so much! I crave spending more time outside and long for the nights when the sun sets well after 8pm. I hate getting out of work and having it be dark, but if I catch the sunrise before work or go outside for a quick break to see the sun go down and light up the sky I feel much more at ease and centered. Taking a few moments in the morning or late afternoon to slow down and tune into the natural cycle of the season is a great way to maintain a connection with nature.
- Get some fresh air into your home: Being in doors all the time because it’s cold outside and trying to keep our homes warm by leaving them shut up creates poor indoor air quality, that can effect our health. Let in some fresh air! Put on a jacket, turn on your heat and open a few windows (one in the bedroom, kitchen and living room) for 10 – 15min in the peak of the day (around 1pm). I know what you’re thinking, “Alyson, that’s totally not energy efficient!” Remember everything in balance and having fresh air in your home will keep you healthier, feeling more alert and happier. Running the heater a little hotter for just a little bit to have your home filled with fresh air is a good trade off. Do this at least once a week to keep your indoor air quality clean, lessen your chances of getting sick and feel connected with the outdoors. Lessening indoor pollution is a key step in creating your own beautiful eco-lifestyle.
- Let yourself sleep more: We are naturally tied to the seasons so when there is less light our bodies crave more sleep. Despite the collective energy after the New Year to be super productive, remember to be kind to yourself. Know that it’s only the 12th of January and you have over 350 days to make your dreams come true. Resting after the holidays and sleeping more in tune with the winter light cycle will support you in staying healthy. It also allows you to store up some energy to prepare for springing into action in the Spring, when the season can support your efforts.
- Drink more herbal tea and burn more candles: This tip has to do with allowing yourself to relax, get in some cuddle time and cozy up in your home as much as possible before these colder darker evenings are gone. This restorative time helps boost your immune system by lessening stress. My two favorite caffeine free teas this winter are mint which aids in digestion (it’s great to enjoy after dinner) and Bengal Spice. Bengal Spice is just so yummy it has a great spice flavor that calls to be enjoyed during the winter. Drinking more water helps to support you immune system, so why not make it relaxing and refreshing? Candles make a space feel more cozy and warm. The soft light helps relax the mind and de-stress but be sure to burn soy or bees wax candles in your home. Traditional candles lessen indoor air quality and you don’t want to counter act all the good work you did, letting in all that wonderful fresh air. Here is one of my favorite candles, it smells amazing!
I hope these tips help you enjoy the last half of winter and stay healthy!
Peace & Love,