Autumn has taken a quick and rough turn in the past few weeks straight into dropping temperatures, snow, ice and blustery wind - only to climb again to more seasonal weather then only to plummet once more. So how do you keep your mind and your body healthy during these cold and dreary days?
All too often it seems that when the topic of conversation turns to how cold it is outside, it usually includes negative emotion and lackluster complaints. But does it have to be? Does winter with its gray, overcast complexion and bone numbing chill have to be met with such a disdain of doom?
In a recent article I read on how a northern town in Norway not only welcomes the bitter cold days but actually looks forward to it. It explained how it brings families and community together to share time in warm cabins under candle lit rooms and warm blankets. And I wondered, wouldn't it be nice if everyone, everywhere could embrace the coldest of the seasons with such welcoming hopefulness and well ... warmth!
Like everything else in our Universe, there are real reasons for each season. And environmentally there are reasons for the health, wellness and longevity of not just the earth but all the people who call it home. But it's not always easy to stay well physically through the winter season and many people find it can be difficult to also keep their minds healthy as feelings of depression can be a major setback for lots of people.
To combat the dread of the forth coming season with a positive frame of mind it can help to have a ready made tool box of health tips, that can help you beat the blues and stay well through the dark, cold days ahead.
So here is your ready-made tool box - a list of 5 ways you can embrace winter and stay healthy till spring:
1 - Stay active and embrace the season - staying active even in the cold months of winter keeps the body's blood and lymph circulating, keeps your metabolism high and keeps the immune system strong - and it helps to keep the brain balanced and energized. And spending time in Nature can be just the prescription you might need. So whether you take walks to admire the changing leaves in fall or snowflakes in winter, go for road trips on the weekends, meet with friends to share a warm meal in front of tbe fire - staying active will have you enjoying the season and staying healthy until spring.
2 - Stay nourished with seasonal foods, spices and herbs - bowls of warm soups and broths, grounding root vegetables, roots and dark leafy greens are all widely available this time of year to warm your body and your internal organs and to keep you well. Let Mother Nature take care of you this fall and winter!
3 - Step back, take root and go inside for awhile - the fall and especially the winter season are the times when Nature calls for us to not only take shelter from the cold outside but also from the hurried, stressful world. These are the months when we are beckoned to take time to reflect on the passing year, journal, read and get in touch with the deepest parts of ourselves.
4. Take advantage of the quiet, warmth and stillness of these shorter, darker months - after the busy hectic spring and summer months and the holiday season, learn to utilize and embrace the longer time spent indoors by practicing meditation (see www.coachingnwellness.com for Mindfulness Meditation practices), yoga, relaxation and massage (contact Laurie at coachingnwellness.com for your appointment).
5 - Sleep with the natural cycles - the shorter days are no accident, nature is calling for is to slow down, shed our worries and rest. It's tea drinking season and there are many herbal teas on the market to not just keep you warm and healthy but also to help you sleep. Try ones with chamomile, passionflower, lavender and valerian.
Fall and winter doesn't have to be something we dread but instead can be a wonderful time to get to know ourselves, our friends and our loved ones better. Going for long walks in nature and sitting around warm fires drinking warm teas, sipping hot soups and practicing relaxation and healthy remedies like massage ... well, that just seems like heaven to me!
Here's to The colder months ahead, enjoy!
Laurie Andrews, CLSC LMT
*And, be sure to pour yourself a warm cup of coffee or tea and listen to me weekly on Positive Vibe Radio ;)
Information provided is educational in nature to assist you in becoming more aware of your own health and life needs and is not intended to take the place of medical care as warranted and is to be used at your own discretion.