The groundhog saw his shadow last week which means that spring will not come early and we will have six more weeks of winter.
Can we just take a moment? WHAT! What sort of logic is that? This tradition is so silly, yet wonderful. I love how this holiday is on all of our calendars and that the groundhog still gets airtime on the daily news. Regardless of it’s silliness, we all believe in the groundhog and accept our fate of 6 more weeks of winter. Even though it hasn’t been a particularly grueling winter in NYC, it’s still dark, dreary, and depressing in general.
But you still want to stay, or get, healthy, right? Maybe your New Years Resolutions are still going strong, or maybe you never made any, no matter where you are, it’s hard to stay motivated during this time of year. It’s cold, the sun hides for most of the day, and all you want to do is stay hidden underneath a cozy blanket. What if I told you to follow your instincts? What if I told you that it was okay to slow down and sleep more? Well, I’m telling you.
Winter is time for rest, relaxation, and revitalization. Instinctually, we’re designed to bulk up and hunker down to survive the winter. It’s time for the body to revive and prepare to bloom and renew. A.K.A. gettin’ ready for Spring!
However, you don’t have to knowingly gain 10 pounds and hide under blankets and bulky sweaters and feel self-conscious when the first beautiful spring day comes around because you don’t look as good in your favorite t-shirt or sundress.
I have some tips to help you stay healthy during the winter months while embracing the time to rest and relax.
- Buy Frozen Fruits & Veggies – This is an excellent and cheap option during the winter to get your fruits and veggies. I recommend buying frozen over “fresh” produce during the winter especially with berries, corn, peas, and leafy greens. You have no idea where this “fresh” produce came from and how long it took to get to you. Frozen fruits and veggies are frozen right after harvest when they’re fresh. They contain almost all of their nutrients they had when they were fresh. Plus, it’s so much cheaper. You can easily heat it up by steaming it or plopping it in a soup, which brings me to my next point:
- Soup, Soup, Soup- Really cold? Hate the cold? SOUP is the answer. You can use multiple veggies in one soup or stew! Soups are incredibly healing and nourishing especially during the winter. The body wants to feel comfort and warmth in the winter, so give it what it wants. Don’t try to continue drinking your daily smoothies when it’s 20 degrees out. Your body doesn’t want it, it wants something warm. Give it what it needs and wants. Not canned soup! Homemade soup, or stew, or chili. Crockpots are your best friend.
- Pay Attention to Your Cravings– It’s normal to crave foods that we may not crave as often during the warmer months. Sweets, carbs, meats, and heavy dishes. This isn’t necessarily bad, your body is telling you that it needs something that it may be lacking. But it doesn’t mean that you need what you’re craving to feel better. Just pay attention to what your body is craving and ask yourself “why” and “how” eating this food will make you feel better. Maybe the answer is a nap, more water, a cup of tea, or a good hot yoga session instead of that piece of pie.
- Vitamin D Supplements- Most people don’t get enough Vitamin D even during the spring and summer but it is especially important during the winter to get this Vitamin that helps regulate mood and energy. Taking a Multi-Vitamin is great, but during the winter I recommend getting a specific Vitamin D supplement to take in addition to the Multi to enhance the benefits you’ll receive. You may even be motivated to exercise when you normally wouldn’t be!
- Take your Time- Take advantage and use it as an excuse to slow down, spend more time cooking, reading, sleeping, and spending time with loved ones. Winter is a perfect time to reset and invest in self care. Whether that manifests in investing in a massage for yourself, or sleeping in until noon on the weekend, it’s important to take the time when you have it and when your body craves it.
- Try Something New- Try a new form exercise: switch it up! If you normally run outside, try running on the treadmill inside. Don’t like the treadmill? (I don’t) Try a spin, Zumba, or Yoga class. Lots of studios have specials around the new year/ in the winter so check out a different form of exercise. Who knows, maybe you’ll find your new favorite way to stay fit!
Which steps can incorporate into your life? Do you already take some of these steps to get through the winter healthy and happy?