Winter is officially upon us, and the post-holiday blues can easily ensnare the unvigilant. Incorporating little things such as aromatherapy, essential oils, and even a new pair of Uggs can help you fight the cold and promote wellness, relaxation, and self-care. These 4 winter wellness tips will empower anyone to survive the frost and develop new wellness habits that last all winter long.
Gratitude Can Keep You Healthy
Positivity is vital to healthy living, and even the New York Times has observed studies that show how positive thinking can impact your health. Don’t be afraid to tap into the coziness of cold weather and take advantage of sitting by a fireplace, watching movies, and sipping cocoa with the people that you care about. Unfortunately, all that indoor time also means less exercise, fresh air, and sunshine, the key to staying mentally and physically healthy.
The winter blues affect a huge segment of the population, and some studies estimate up to 30 percent of people in North America alone. So, if you’re feeling sluggish and bummed out, your body may be telling you something more. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) has been linked to vitamin D levels, which drop dramatically with shorter days, longer nights, and colder temperatures. So, grab some liquid vitamin D, available at most vitamin and health food stores, and keep your levels up. Just stick to the recommended dosage, as vitamin D is not water-soluble, meaning too much can become toxic. But that’s no replacement for the great outdoors. Sunshine, exercise, and fresh air will have you feeling better than ever in no time.
You Can Still Get Outside!
Outside may look bleak if you live in a northern climate, but with the proper gear, winter hiking can be a great way to stay in shape and stave off cabin fever. Dressing in layers and having waterproof and windproof shells will keep you warm and dry, even in snowy conditions. Winter hiking also provides photo ops you won’t see any other time of year. Everyone has done summer waterfall pictures, strikeout in the cold to get amazing pictures of frozen waterfalls. From Ketchikan, hidden deep in the Tongass National Forest in Alaska, to Gorges de Ballandaz in France, frozen waterfalls have captivated the world. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, you can join the ice climbers in scaling these frozen wonders.
If trekking out into the wilderness isn’t your thing, you can still enjoy the outdoors at a ski resort. Most plan on continuing to operate, with some safety tweaks in regards to dining and drinking. But who doesn’t love a private lift and a hot drink on a snowy patio near a fire? Sign me up. When it’s time to unwind and recharge, you’ll enjoy curling up with a captivating novel and a cup of tea that much more.
Give Your Skin Some TLC
“Love the skin you’re in” isn’t just a catchy line in a commercial, it’s seriously time to show your skin some love. Winter is brutal on the skin. Add masks, hand sanitizer, and dry heat, and you’ll begin to longingly think back on the days you could move your hands or face without pain. Hydration is key for winter wellness, beyond getting your daily water requirement, which, of course, we’re all already doing, right?
Winter is the time to explore all of those decadent face oils and moisturizing cleansers that are too heavy for summer. It’s time to swap the gel moisturizer for a cream, scrubs for a good cleansing balm, and thanks to the K-Beauty explosion, check out some hydrating sleeping packs. Remember, your hands, neck, and body are just as important as your face, although you can go much heavier on the oils and creams below the neckline.
Almond, grape seed, and apricot are a few oils that are moisturizing, yet should not clog pores. Coconut oil and shea butter are heavier, and may be suitable for facial use, particularly for those with extremely dry skin and no acne or pore issues. As always, patch test and be conscientious of any reaction an ingredient may produce on your skin.
For hands and body, remember, creams are heavier and richer than lotions, and therefore better suited to winter conditions. L’Occitane makes a hand cream using a variety of the oils mentioned above, and it has garnered tons of popularity and positive reviews over the years.
Don’t Let Dry Winter Weather Win
If you’re looking for a full-body preemptive strike against winter dryness, humidifiers are game-changers. From clearing dry, stuffy sinuses, to alleviating itchy skin, to fighting off that static-filled bed head that seems to be making a regular appearance all of a sudden. Cool mist humidifiers have been deemed safer, especially for children. Just make sure you’re using distilled water and keeping them clean. You may want to pair this with an air purifier to keep your indoor air fresh. Adding an oil diffuser to the mix will flood the air around you with inviting scents and help you kick dreary winter weariness for good.
Meet the Writer!
Desiree Mulkey is a freelance writer and storyteller with a passion for food, health and wellness, and the great outdoors. She is also a proud rescue dog mom to her hiking companion, Louie.