Boston — We’re all feeling it right now. The nights are long, the temperatures are low and seasonal depression is a very real thing.
During these winter months, many of us need reminders to maintain self-care and wellness practices. We tend to be less active and spend more time cooped up indoors – and the problem often gets worse as we age.
We have some tips for you to incorporate into your routines while the temperatures are low.
Eat a balanced diet
It’s easy to throw the diet out the window to eat more comfort foods, but eating a healthy, balanced diet is always important. Do your research, experiment with flavors and choose a variety of items from each food group including but not limited to: fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins and dairy.
Dehydration can be a common problem in the coldest season of the year. Drinking plenty of fluids in winter is important to stay hydrated in winter to prevent colds, flu and other illnesses.
Water, juice and soup are great options to balance in your journey to staying hydrated in the wintertime. Avoid alcohol and caffeinated beverages, which can dehydrate you easily.
Don’t neglect skincare
When you’re bundled up in layers, it’s easy to forget about your skin, the largest organ of your body, it can be easily infected.
You can build a barrier between yourself and the elements by using moisture-rich creams, especially after a bath or shower when your skin is still damp, to lock in moisture.
Find the time to engage with loved ones – face-to-face whenever possible – when you can.
This can be easier said than done most times, but shutting yourself away for the winter isn’t good for your body or brain. Social interaction has benefits for your memory and thinking, motivating you to stay active and feel a little bit lighter.
Add exercise to your day
Exercise is the single most important thing you can do to keep your body and brain strong. Increasing physical activity helps to improve circulation, maintain muscle mass and reinforce bone strength.
Making time to go for a regular walk can make a big difference or if you’re looking to mix things up, try aquatic exercises.
Find stress relievers
For many, winter can be the most wonderful time of the year. For others, it can be the most stressful.
Figure out ways to combat anxiety surrounding the holidays and family gatherings. Cope with stress by listening to music or enjoying seasonal pastries as well as fun warm drinks like tea, hot chocolate and apple cider.
Trinity Alicia (she/her/hers) is a Boston-based journalist. Follow her on X: @trinityaliciaa
Edited by NaTyshca Pickett