As the colder weather approaches, many Canadians start dreading winter. In 2020, with people across the country spending time indoors to do their part to prevent the spread of COVID-19, there are a few things you can do to make this winter season easier.
Exercise is one of the best ways to feel good and boost your mood. As you probably know, when you exercise your brain releases the feel-good chemicals endorphins. Physical activity has been proven to reduce depression and anxiety. If you do not want to exercise outside, there are plenty of options available online that you can do from home. Not only will exercise improve your mood right away, but you will also be happier in the long run when you avoid gaining weight.
You may think that because the temperature has dropped you do not need to be conscious of your water intake, but that is not the case at all. The dry winter air can dehydrate you so you need to make sure you are still drinking enough water. Your body needs to be hydrated to function properly and drinking enough water is important for cognitive health and digestion. Make sure to drink 8 glasses of water a day; herbal tea also counts!
Positive thinking is not a talent you either have or do not have, but a skill you can develop. Research has shown that positive thinking is associated with lower stress levels, reducing depression, improved coping skills during difficult situations, a longer lifespan, better heart health and better physical and psychological health.
Having a healthy diet will help you feel better and improve your mood. It is an important part of your day and some simple changes can help you make your routine healthier.
Eat healthy fats
Chances are you move less in the winter, so avoiding excess carbohydrates is a good idea. Adding some healthy fats to your diet will give you nutrients without spiking your insulin levels. Omega-3 fatty acids, for example, have many health benefits including helping with depression and they are also anti-inflammatory.
Take some vitamins
Supplement your diet with multivitamins to help boost your immunity and help you feel better. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps your immune system and Vitamin D and Omega 3/DHA can help improve your mood.
Add fermented foods to your diet
Fermented foods like yogurt, kombucha, apple cider vinegar, sauerkraut and pickles support your digestive system, which in turn supports your immune system.
Add some protein to your breakfast to avoid craving carbs later and the subsequent blood sugar roller coaster. You will have more energy all day, especially if you bring healthy snacks with you.
Spices not only make your food taste better, but many are antioxidants and have various health benefits. Turmeric, for example, is an antioxidant that fights heart disease and inflammation.
Ensure you stay in touch with friends and family online, through video chats or phone calls, and in-person when possible.
Getting enough sleep is one of the easiest and most important things you can do to boost your immune system and feel better overall. Adults should get 7-9 hours of sleep a night. Not getting enough sleep may directly weaken your immune system.
Get some sun
Getting outside in the sun can help you fight Seasonal Affective Disorder and can instantly make you feel better while also replenishing your vitamin D.
Wash your hands
Washing your hand is more important than ever for helping you avoid getting sick, either with a cold or flu or with COVID-19. Make sure to follow health guidelines for your area.
Do something that makes you happy
Make time for a hobby you love for no other reason than that you love it!
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