10 Tips For Staying Happy & Healthy Through Winter
I love winter, it’s my favourite season… but I realise not everyone shares my enthusiasm for this dark and cold time of year. Grey skies and icy weather can lead to a slump in mood and energy levels. The lack of sunshine combined with much shorter days mean that for many, the brain’s happy-making chemicals are at their lowest point in winter. How can you put the bounce back in your step through the coldest season? In this article I’m sharing my top 10 tips for staying happy & healthy through winter, and I hope they help if you’re amongst those who struggle.
My Ten Tips For Staying Healthy & Positive Through Wintertime
Get out into the fresh air every day
It’s so tempting to stay inside where it’s nice and warm when the weather outside is frosty or the rain is lashing down. However, if you push through and make yourself step outside every day, even just for a 10-minute stroll, you’ll notice a positive impact on your mood. I always feel better when I’ve been out for a walk in the day; the hardest thing about it is making that decision to actually go.
Begin your day with hot water and lemon
The benefits of drinking a cup of hot water and lemon first thing in the morning are widely acknowledged. This simple habit will kick start your metabolism, aid weight loss, give you a huge mental boost and is said to have plenty of other health and fitness perks.
Remember to eat fruit & vegetables
Over the winter season we naturally crave stodgy and fattening foods, as our bodies want to store fat to help us survive. In the 21st century, however, this often translates to snacking on junk food. Make the effort to eat your ‘five a day’ to stay healthy, which will also lead to a happier mental state.
Have an orgasm as often as possible
Did you know that orgasms release endorphins, the ‘happy chemical’ in the brain? Having an orgasm regularly throughout winter (and all year, because why wouldn’t you) is a fun and free way of boosting your physical and mental state. It gets the blood pumping, the heart racing leading to better cardiovascular function, glowing skin and many other bodily as well as psychological benefits. What a way to get a daily smile on your face this winter!
Stay hydrated through winter – and year-round- to stay healthy and happy. When you’re dehydrated you may suffer difficulties with mental processes as well as slower digestion, bad skin and a low mood. Current medical advice urges us to drink 8 glasses of water a day to keep your body nicely hydrated and your mood bright. If you can’t stand still, plain water, I find flavoured sparkling water to be a great alternative. Keep an eye on your caffeine levels as well – too much can cause headaches and other issues.
Indulge in plenty of laughter
There’s some truth to the old saying that ‘laughter is the best medicine’. So this winter, stick on your favourite comedy and liberate yourself with some genuine belly-laughs. Surprisingly, as well as temporarily boosting your mood, regular sessions of laughter have been shown to reduce blood pressure and stress, improve your alertness and build defences against respiratory infections.
Avoid isolation – arrange a bit of company
Another temptation in the winter season is to stay in by yourself, away from people. It can be difficult to drag yourself out under the darker skies to meet up with friends, or to find the energy to host a gathering at home. Having a long chat with friends, full of warmth, love and laughter definitely lifts the mood though, so it’s worth making a special effort when you can.
Arrange a coffee morning where you can enjoy a face-to-face chat with a hot brew and a slice of cake, or get a date in the diary where you invite a friend or two over for an overdue catch-up. Remember that friends come to see you, not your house, so try not to worry if your house doesn’t resemble a show home. True friends don’t judge a bit of clutter or dust!
Set regular dedicated me-time sessions
I am totally guilty of neglecting this important part of a weekly schedule. I think most of us are. There’s so much to be done in the hectic modern lifestyle, that time for ourselves often comes bottom of the list, meaning we rarely if ever get round to it. Try to dedicate some time for mindful pampering, especially in the winter season when focus is especially needed to lift your mood.
Lock yourself in your room for a masturbation session with your favourite sex toys, indulge in an extra-long bubble bath with luxury products, do that short yoga session you’ve seen on YouTube or just take 5 minutes out of your day to meditate and recentre yourself.
Get plenty of sleep
This is another area that I personally need to work on. Staying up into the early hours leads to painfully slow, difficult mornings – and that’s before you factor in the dark skies and miserable weather in the winter months.
Set yourself a bedtime, as well as a bedtime routine, and stick to it. Engaging in good sleep hygiene each evening will slowly condition you to becoming sleepy at the right time, winding your mind and body down ready for a truly revitalising rest at night. Similarly, in the mornings – even if you are lucky enough not to have to be up at a certain time, set a ‘getting up’ time and stick to that, too. Lethargy sets in if you oversleep.
I know – it’s a struggle! Regular exercise will keep your mood lifted and your body healthy through winter, and it’s a great habit to form for year-round health and happiness. The key is finding a form of exercise you can comfortably achieve, and consistency is important too. Little and often is better than one overly intense session that you need a month to recover from.
There are so many ways you can exercise without leaving your home, if the frosty air and pelting rain is putting you off. YouTube clips from your mobile, fitness apps linked to your Sky TV or cable, VR fitness workouts – there are many ways you can get moving, get your blood pumping and your heart racing from the comfort of your bedroom or lounge. I enjoy Yoga with Adriene on YouTube, and I also love a bit of Beat Saber on the Meta Quest 2 VR. Dancing around to the music and hitting the blocks always gets me in a happy mood!
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Wear comfortable clothing and take it slowly to start with until you can increase the exertion level/tempo.
Exercise releases feel-good endorphins to lift your mood, as well as honing your body to be the healthiest, strongest version of you, so what’s not to love?
In winter it’s especially important to find your light in the darkness – that something that makes you smile, warms your heart, gives you the motivation to carry on until the longer days and sunlight return. It’s worth taking ten minutes out of your day to reflect on what your unique motivation is, then you can grow your daily habits using that as your foundation.
I hope the tips I’ve shared in this article help you to keep healthy and happy throughout winter, as well as help you to form habits which result in a positive, energised you for year-round positivity and strength.
What are your tips for staying happy and healthy through the cold and dark winter months? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
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