As the days grow darker and winter draws near, our outdoor furry friends are settling in for the long haul. They’ve done the hard work of preparing, and now they’re reaping the benefits by slowing down and resting.
Yet, humans keep missing the boat on the natural tendency to slow down during winter.
Many people are filled with excitement during the holiday season. It’s a great cultural way to keep enjoying the year! However, when the cultural traditions end, and we come face-to-face with the stillness of what winter really means, it can be a little draining. I often call this time of year the “post-holiday letdown” because one day we’re celebrating and the next it’s over. There’s no cultural transition that helps us confront the dark, cold days ahead.
While we can’t just stop moving during winter like our outdoor friends, we can still welcome the season and allow ourselves to recoup for the coming year. We can nourish ourselves inside and out and start a new tradition of winterizing ourselves before and after the holidays!
Here are three ideas for how to winterize yourself:
1. Vitamin D Supplements (or light therapy): While your body has noticed the changing light, your mind may not be processing it. So, when the darkest days come upon you, it can take you by surprise!
Seasonal Affective Disorder (or SAD) is quite common during the winter. Harvard Medical School says it can look a lot like depression, where you feel more tired, lose interest in things, consume more food, and have problems sleeping. If we look at our outdoor furry friends, some of these symptoms (or activities) may be normal, though for the ones that don’t feel quite right, you might want to consider a daily Vitamin D supplement to help pull you through any low days.
2. Ayurveda Immunity Booster: Getting sick doesn’t have to be a normal winter activity, and there’s a great immunity booster you can enjoy all year that includes just two ingredients: turmeric and honey. Mix as much turmeric as you’d like or up to 1 tbsp into 3.5 oz of creamed honey, and then enjoy it as a solo health plan or as an ingredient in one of your favorite meals.
Turmeric is a common ingredient in Ayurveda, and one of the reasons for this is because it’s great at balancing the digestive tract. Since many illnesses result from an imbalanced gut, adding regular doses of this immunity booster can help stave off sickness and bring the body back to better health.
3. Bone Broth: Broth is one of those foods that often shows up in winter soups, though I’ve found it to be even more effective as a regular drink. I love making large quantities of bone broth, and then I portion it out into small jars that I can just grab out of the fridge and take with me every day.
Bone broth is used by professional athletes to replenish electrolytes and by health professionals to heal the gut. I definitely recommend adding to your list of foods to love, especially during the cold winter days!
Emma Watterson is a civilian government employee for the Navy’s Environmental Division and a holistic health coach. As a coach, she loves helping other busy parents and professionals to balance their home and work life through simple self-care techniques so they can live a happier and healthier life they deserve.