This blog is all about keeping healthy this winter, how to go into the holidays full of self-care and come out the other side without a cold.
Winter is my favourite season, Christmas is my favourite holiday. I am blessed to have a big, fun, family. I love baking Christmas treats. I can never get enough of those Hallmark movies. I love the coziness of the season. Plus, I’m a winter person, I thrive in the cold (as long as there is sunshine). A wise facebook post once said: If you choose not to find joy in the snow, you will have less joy in your life but still the same amount of snow. Cue a picture of my dog LOVING the snow - we could all learn a little something from dogs...
But in all truthfulness...Winter, and Christmas, can also be a pretty heavy time for a lot of us. It can be lonely, anxiety ridden, over-joyful, over-whelming, expensive...whatever the holidays bring for you - know you are not alone.
The last couple weeks have been especially tough for me. I’ve felt unmotivated, tired, lethargic, and lacking creativity. So in all of my wallowing and lack of motivation and creative slump, I thought - I need a list of supports for the next few months…and I bet you do too!
1. Vitamin D
The shorter days, the position of the sun, reduced time outdoors, and layers upon layers of clothing all contribute to decreased Vitamin D in the Winter. It is simply not possible for us to soak up enough of it in the Winter, so I recommend everyone supplement - unless you’ve tested and found you do not need it.
Here’s a quick chart on recommended daily intake, but I recommend getting your levels tested at least once to see where they’re at. Some people store Vitamin D more efficiently (one thing us Redheads are good for!), so they may not need as much supplemental Vitamin D.
Make sure you’re grabbing Vitamin D3 at the store, Vitamin D2 is a synthetic form and is not as well absorbed. I tend to prefer liquid form; easier to take and very well absorbed.
*Consider a light therapy lamp! Some patients find it extremely helpful in the winter - you can try it out at the Library (Winnipeg) while you catch up on some reading to start.
2. Balanced Meals
I am always a fan of indulging (see Nux-Vomica below!) this season, but keep it an indulgence not a month long sugar diet. Remember your balanced meals, eat your vegetables, drink your smoothies, cook fresh foods, drink your water...so that you can choose a cookie (or 5) when the day comes.
Additionally, don’t make your Christmas baking early and then “accidentally” eat it all - okay that suggestion was for me...
Treats are great for giving some instant joy, but too much sugar messes with our balance. Insulin levels go wonky, our brain gets fatigued from the up and down, it contributes to a multitude of mental health issues…so commit to yourself this month and try to find a balance between indulgence and health. Keep treats exactly that - a treat.
3. Stay active, get outside!
It’s easy to stay in with a hot drink and a Hallmark movie, but do your best to get out every day! If it’s sunny, get outside for skating, tobogganing, a walk on your lunch break. If it’s too cold, get to the gym, go for a swim. If you’re feeling that hibernation vibe; check out Yoga with Adriene for a low key yoga session at home, or check in with your local studio.
4. Tissue Salts
Tissue salts are a great way to treat common winter woes - two that I always have on hand in the Winter are:
Ferrum Phos: for the beginning of a cold, when you don't have any distinctive symptoms
Kali Phos: for when you’re feeling run down from the busyness of the season
Winter is a great time to check in with your homeopath: a time of reflection, this can open up room to heal. Give me a call to book an appointment and get a head start on your new year!
Homeopathy can help keep you find balance when you start to feel the effects of the season; whether it be dry skin, Seasonal Affective Disorder, anxiety, fatigue, or even just overindulgence!
A few remedies to have on hand:
Nux-Vomica: I’ve said it many times before; the overindulgence remedy; for over-eating, over-drinking. Take it before and after your next big dinner.
Arnica: for bumps, bruises, trauma, and falls. A slip on the ice resulting in a goose-egg or maybe a car accident from poor conditions; Arnica is for all things trauma related. Take it immediately following any accident, while on your way to medical assistance.
Hypericum: For when you slip and fall, right on your rear! Ideal for that shooting pain up your body after a fall; I always take this (and Arnica) to the toboggan hill and skating!
Agaricus: In a pinch, a great frostbite remedy. If you’re prone to frostbite, book an appointment with me - this may be a sign of your system being off balance.
Ignatia: the grief remedy, for when the holidays bring back memories and may feel heavy for some. Ignatia is great for relieving a little bit of the weight of grief.
And of course; remedies for Cold and Flu! For everything you need to know: sign up for my Cold and Flu e-Book here!
Bonus: Be kind.
Most important of them all, make each action an act of kindness towards yourself. Avoid getting riled up in the buzz of the season by taking conscious steps back each day and reflecting on what you need. In the season of giving, be sure to give to yourself as well - we cannot pour from an empty cup.
If you're feeling that your cup is overflowing, or maybe you just need to share some kindness, consider donating to a local shelter; food, clothing, winter items, gifts, financial support, or the gift of time. There are so many great communities in Winnipeg looking for kindness, here's just a handful of ideas in Winnipeg...
Wishing you a warming season ahead; stay kind and healthy.