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Article Highlights

  • Wellness involves the pursuit of holistic health across 8 different dimensions: emotional or mental, financial, environmental, intellectual, social, occupational, physical, and spiritual.
  • Establishing a winter wellness routine can benefit you and your loved ones by building healthy and safe habits that cater to the unique needs of the winter months, such as dry skin, cold weather, lowered nutritional intake, and seasonal affective disorder.
  • Incorporating a multivitamin into your winter wellness routine may help fill in nutritional gaps that form as a result of unhealthy eating or lack of vitamin D from decreased time spent outdoors.
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5 Easy Winter Wellness Ideas To Try This Winter

Wellness is a term that is quite often thrown around in the realm of health and nutrition. But, since the word wellness can be used in reference to a variety of areas, many people are often left with the question, “What is wellness?” How is it defined and how can you achieve it?

As we mentioned, the word wellness encompasses many aspects of your overall health. In fact, you can think of wellness as the regular practice of healthy habits done in active pursuit of holistic health, or the health of your entire being. This applies to your physical health, of course, but it also includes other areas. The 8 dimensions of wellness are defined as follows: emotional or mental, financial, environmental, intellectual, social, occupational, physical, and spiritual (1). The goal of wellness is to maintain your health in each of these areas by forming and following healthy routines that fit your lifestyle.

For even more information about wellness in general, check out our daily wellness guide 101 and discover some new ways of making wellness fun for yourself and your whole family.

In this article, we will focus particularly on winter wellness. After all, maintaining your health in winter alongside the added stress of inclement weather, family gatherings, and illnesses can seem like quite the daunting task. Stay tuned as we guide you through invaluable tips that will help you stay on top of your 8 dimensions of wellness this winter season.

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- Olivia T.

5 Tips For Winter Wellness

In order to help promote the physical health and safety of you and your loved ones this season, we have provided a list below of 5 tips for winter wellness.

1. Eat Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables

Though you may not realize it, there are plenty of nutritious fruits and vegetables available during the winter months. Examples include grapefruit, kiwis, mandarins, oranges, broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower, many of which contain high amounts of vitamin C, an essential nutrient for maintaining a healthy immune system in the face of winter viruses (2). Vegetables in particular  make a great addition to casseroles or even a winter wellness soup or stew to drive away the chill on cold evenings.

2. Exercise

Though you may not be able to participate in your favorite warm weather activities, there are tons of exercises that can be performed in winter without needing to go to the gym. Skiing, sledding, and snowboarding make great outings for the whole family to spend time together and be active at the same time. Even simply shoveling snow, taking a walk, or having a snowball fight with your kids can get your heartrate up and help you burn calories.

3. Dress Appropriately

If you do choose to exercise outside or venture out into the cold weather for any other purpose, it is important to remember to dress appropriately. Always check the forecast before leaving the house so you can be prepared for the temperature, the windchill, and any possibility of sudden snow or ice. Even if you’re only going out to the mailbox or for a quick trip to the convenience store, layer up and wear a jacket in the event that you may end up locked out or stranded outside for longer than you anticipated.

4. Prepare Your House

Inclement weather has an impact on our environment just as much as our physical and mental health. In fact, its ability to destroy our happy environment is one of the biggest causes of stress during wintertime. Before the cold sets in, have your furnace inspected to ensure that it is ready to provide the heat you need without breaking down. You should also check that your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in working order, as the house will typically be more closed up in the winter months, increasing the danger of fires and gas leaks.

5. Stay Hydrated

We all know that hydration is essential in the scorching heat of summer, but what many fail to realize is that it is equally as important during winter. You can become dehydrated when shoveling snow just as easily as you can when working under the hot sun. In fact, it may be even more dangerous, as the lower temperatures can sometimes cause you to feel less thirsty (3). Whether working outside or relaxing in the warmth of your home, you should strive to meet the recommended amounts of 11-15 cups of water per day. Your skin will thank you for the additional hydration as well.

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  • Advanced Liquid Absorption
  • Zero sugars, fillers, or artificial flavorings
  • Safe & Effective for Kids & Adults
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How Do You Keep Well In The Winter?

As the last section focused mainly on physical health and safety tips, we will devote this section to discussing mental wellness. So, how do you keep well in winter, emotionally? After all, countless people struggle with seasonal affective disorder in the colder months of the year and are left wondering how to get through winter depression. We’ve prepared a list of wellness tips to help you manage your stress and promote your mental health this season. However, if you do experience symptoms of seasonal affective disorder, depression, or other mental health struggles, be sure to also talk to your doctor to formulate a comprehensive treatment plan tailored just for you.

1. Build a Routine

Daily routines are a great way to manage stress and build healthy habits in all areas of your life. Waking up with a plan for what you need to get done that day, when you will have time to complete your tasks, and when you will be able to relax eliminates a huge amount of anxiety. Not to mention, you may be able to use your time more effectively, pushing yourself forward toward your goals and freeing up more time to spend doing the things you love.

Building a wellness routine for your whole family to follow can also be an enjoyable and involved activity to do together, and it will help children learn responsibility and incorporate healthy habits into their own lives.

2. Try Meditation

Meditation involves focusing the mind in order to eliminate rushing thoughts and achieve a state of peace. It can be practiced anywhere and makes a great addition to any wellness routine, especially for those who experience a great deal of stress or anxiety. The winter months are full of stressful situations, from family gatherings full of people to accidents caused by bad weather. Meditation is a tool that enables you to withdraw from that stress for a moment and ground yourself to be able to handle any situation. The benefits of meditation include reducing negative emotions, improving the quality of sleep, managing your anxiety, and much more (4).

3. Head Outside

You may have heard of the important micronutrient known as vitamin D, or the sunshine vitamin. Vitamin D is produced in your skin when a protein reacts with UV light from the sun. Since it is not commonly found in the diet, aside from fortified foods, it can be difficult to supply your body with vitamin D during the winter months when there is less opportunity to venture outside. Lack of vitamin D may increase your risk of seasonal affective disorder, so it is essential to make sure you head outside as much as you can, even in winter (5). Simply taking a walk at lunch or shoveling some snow can be a great way to boost your vitamin D and brighten your mood with the refreshing outdoor air.

Winter Wellness Products

Accomplishing all these winter wellness tips would certainly be much easier if you had some tools to help you with the job, right? That’s where winter wellness products come in handy. Let’s take a look at a few examples of products you can add to your winter wellness kit in order to ensure a safe and happy season for you and your loved ones.

1. Skincare Products

Dry air from heating systems coupled with the biting cold of winter winds can quickly take a negative toll on your skin in the cold months of the year. Following a skincare routine regularly is essential in the wintertime, particularly one that includes the use of moisturizer, as production of the moisturizing protein filaggrin often decreases during this time (2). Depending on your skin type, you may seek out different products, with acne-prone skin benefiting from oil-free products and dry skin benefiting from heavier creams. Taking shorter showers and using lukewarm water as opposed to hot water may help your skin retain more moisture as well.

For additional dry skin prevention, the Mayo Clinic also suggests purchasing a humidifier for use in the house to counteract the drying effects of the air from your heating system (3). 

2. Essential Oils

Winter wellness essential oils may be another tool to consider, both for your emotional and physical health. For example, peppermint, already a staple of the winter season, is an essential oil that has the potential to leave you feeling invigorated or energized after breathing it in. It may even be able to clear out your nose when inhaled safely, making it extremely useful for anyone who frequently experiences colds or the flu during winter (4). Do remember to dilute it with water, however, to avoid any burning sensations, and check that you’re not allergic before making use of any essential oils.

3. Multivitamins

If you’re still wondering “How do I prepare my body for winter?” you may want to consider a multivitamin. As we mentioned previously, proper nutrition is necessary during all months of the year, but it can be particularly important to provide your body with extra nutrition in winter. Not only are you at an increased risk of contracting illnesses like the flu, meaning you need your immune system to be in peak condition, but it can be tempting to indulge in more unhealthy foods at family gatherings, perhaps decreasing your intake of valuable vitamins and minerals. A multivitamin like Better Family’s Liquid Daily fills in those gaps and provides you with a ready supply of 17 micronutrients as well as a blend of powerful antioxidants, each of which is essential to the maintenance of the various systems throughout your body.

Health And Wellness Initiatives For Winter

As you can see, there are tons of options when it comes to developing your own health and wellness initiatives for winter. We recommend involving your whole family in the building of your routine not only to make the process more fun, but also to help children learn about healthy habits as they grow up. With a strong foundation in wellness behind them, they may be more likely to carry those habits forward into their own lives in the future.

One way to make your own winter wellness program more enjoyable, especially for kids, is to dive into the theme of winter itself. Plan outings and activities that safely indulge in the cold weather and snow, like sledding, building snowmen, skiing, snowboarding, and more. Even a simple winter wellness walk together in the evenings can make a great addition to the lineup. Get creative and make this winter season one to remember!

Resources

  1. “The Eight Dimensions of Wellness.” William & Mary, 2022, https://www.wm.edu/offices/wellness/about/eight-dimensions/index.php.
  2. “7 Tips for Staying Healthy Over Winter.” Heart Foundation, 2022, https://www.heartfoundation.org.au/blog/7-tips-for-staying-healthy-over-winter.
  3. Chwalek, Kim. “10 Dermatologist-Approved Winter Skincare Tips from Dr. Husienzad.” Bryn Mawr Dermatology, 2 December 2021, https://www.brynmawrdermatology.com/blog/10-dermatologist-approved-winter-skincare-tips-from-dr-husienzad.
  4. Bell, Allison. “Are You More Dehydrated in the Winter?” Intermountain Healthcare, 18 February 2021, https://intermountainhealthcare.org/blogs/topics/live-well/2021/02/are-you-more-dehydrated-in-the-winter.
  5. Mayo Clinic Staff. “Meditation: A Simple, Fast Way to Reduce Stress.” Mayo Clinic, 29 April 2022, https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/meditation/in-depth/meditation/art-20045858.
  6. “Low Levels of Vitamin D Can Increase Your Risk of Seasonal Affective Disorder.” SSM Health Monroe Clinic Medical Group, 7 March 2022, https://www.ssmhealth.com/blogs/ssm-health-matters/march-2022/low-levels-of-vitamin-d-can-increase-your-risk-of-sad.
  7. Mayo Clinic Staff. “Humidifier Care 101.” Mayo Clinic, 11 June 2021, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/common-cold/in-depth/health-tip/art-20048617.
  8. Schmidt, Lena. “6 Essential Oils for Winter.” Chopra, 17 January 2019, https://chopra.com/articles/6-essential-oils-for-winter.

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