Dec 30, 2011

Wellness in The Winter

Keeping myself healthy during the Winter is always an ongoing project.  I'm a hibernator by nature, so when the weather turns cold and grey, I'd rather huddle indoors than venture out.  All the more reason to get out for a walk each day - even if that means wearing ten layers to stay warm!  The brisk air is a great tool for enlivening my energy, and there is nothing better than a little time outdoors to help me make it through the long, dark season until Spring arrives and I can have my hands in the dirt again.

As cozy as our homes are in the cold months, they can become dry, stale environments in no time when the heat is on, and the windows are closed.  Consider opening your windows once each day, even for a few minutes, to circulate some fresh air through the house.

To combat the dry, heated air indoors, get yourself a humidifier.  Or even better - save some energy and hang your wet laundry above heating vents and in front of fireplaces (a safe distance, of course!)  The radiating heat will dry your clothes and release moisture into the air.

And don't forget to give yourself a bit of extra moisture too.  Drink plenty of water, give yourself a steam facial with a few drops of eucalyptus oil to open your sinuses or drop some flowers or essential oils in a foot bath and enjoy the relaxing soak.

This drawing-inward time of year is a great time to get back to your meditation practice.  Why not rid yourself of some of that post-holiday stress, and do your heart and mind some good.  If you are new to meditation, get yourself a guided cd to help you ease into it, or simply check out YouTube for some easy ten minute meditations to get you started.

This is a great time of year to boost your immune system too.  Get vitamins, minerals and antioxidants by eating plenty of root vegetables.  Easily found during the Winter, beets, sweet potatoes, carrots, turnip and other root veggies offer a dose of goodness while the gardens are sleeping.  Supplement with herbs and spices to keep your system warm and happy.  Add some Turmeric to your chicken and rice dishes for it's anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties.  Sprinkle some Cayenne pepper on your omelette and make your circulatory system very happy!

Now is the time to use those herbs you dried this Summer in a healing tea.  My current favourite is a simple blend of Nettle (aids kidney & liver function,) Rosehips (high in vitamin C) and Red Clover (aids in women's health & blood circulation.)

Although the light is returning, those of us in Northern or seasonal climates still have the cold to contend with.  So give yourself a little extra TLC this Winter and sail through the dark months with ease.  Oh - and don't forget to nap!  The bears know the benefit of this Winter activity, and it's a soothing treat we rarely give ourselves.  Indulge, and enjoy the Winter.

*All photos on this post except the first photo, courtesy of Stock.Xchng - free stock photos.


Anonymous said...

Great tips, thank you very much. Very important things to do.
Have a wonderful New Years eve and a fantastic beginning of 2012.

HappyCrone said...

well done you!! I am feeling a little guilty as I have really been hibernating, only walking to my car from my door. I must try to do better, thanks Sweetness!

Barbara F. said...

What great advice! I was wondering if you sell herbal tea (nettle) in your shop? Happy, healthy New Year to you! xo

Rue said...

Barbara - I don't sell teas, I'm afraid. I hoard my herbs for salves & smudges, but a Temple classmate of mine has started a tea website: which is lovely. If you are looking for just Nettle, check out your local Whole Foods store for the herb & grab a teaball - it's that simple!

Another local friend will be creating teas this year from her ever-increasing herb gardens, so I'll keep you posted about that too as it happens.

jill said...

Hi,I intend to change my habits on sunday, 1 of them is to start walking each day again and have time for me.Will add your tips to my routine also,thanks.Happy new year to you.Love Jill xx

TMCPhoto said...

love the tips! I'll be using the drying clothes one over the heating vents for sure, we're in the middle of passing around a cold here.The Peanut seems to be over it but I'm knocked down with it and the Bean has started to sound a little croaky and has a cough. A little more humidity in the air will do us wonders

Anonymous said...

Wonderful advice and ideas! I'll take you up on it! :)

Birgit said...

Will do -- and I hope you, too!

All the best for 2012!!! :)


Carolyn said...

Wonderful tips, Jen! You've inspired me to brew myself a nice cup of tea! Thank you for your wonderful posts. I always look forward to reading them!

Anonymous said...

Winter is my favorite season as a fellow hermit. I think one of the reasons is the slowness of it. I always feel most zen. As if every move I make is with attention, tuning into that slow energy does this to me. I love that you get out and walk in it. I must do this. Maybe with a good scarf to cover my mouth and nose to avoid asthma.