The winter season can be busy and exciting. But often, once the weather is cooler and the holiday season is in full swing, many people experience a lull in their motivation to stay active. Staying healthy in the wintertime does not just mean concentrating on your physical health, but also your mental and emotional health. This time of year can cause an increase in depression, which may lead to a decline in overall wellness.
A few Junior League of New Orleans (JLNO) members recently shared tips on how to prioritize your physical and mental health during the winter season:
- Get enough vitamin C: “In general, I would recommend getting in adequate amounts of vitamin C (from foods instead of supplements) to help build up the immune system for colder months,” advises Taylor Burgmon, a registered dietician and Volunteer Opportunity Management Chair. This dietary approach can include citrus fruits like oranges, strawberries, grapefruit and kiwi, as well as some vegetables like broccoli.
- Grab a friend and stay active: Finding ways to stay active throughout the winter is another great way to ensure a healthy immune system. Since Louisiana winters are not typically too cold, it’s a good idea to get outside when you can and take a walk or a jog. “On the days when being active outside isn’t an option, there are plenty of exercises you can do right in your own home!” Taylor says. “There are tons of exercise-related YouTube videos, for example, that allow you to use little to no equipment to get a good workout in.”
- Unplug: Studies show that too much screen time from cellphones, computers and other devices can cause more harm than good. Taking a time out from social media and digital devices is a great way to center yourself and reduce stress and anxiety. “There is so much going on in the world today. Turn your TV off. Turn your phone off,” says Alisha Reed, a lifestyle blogger and Recruitment Chair.
- Exercise self-care: True self-care does not just include spa days and manicures, though those treats are nice. It means making the choice to build a life you do not feel like you need to escape from. “Self-awareness is self-care,” says Alisha. “Take some time to check in with yourself to see what you really need or do something that you enjoy. This can include saying ‘no.’ Don’t feel obligated to do everything if the holidays are an overwhelming time for you.”
- Use your PTO: Though COVID-19 is likely to alter travel and holiday plans for many families, it’s still important to take time off if you have it, Alisha adds. “We may not be able to travel like we want to, but a staycation can work just as well!”