The warm weather is behind us and the snap of morning frost has arrived. The ‘big’ coats are out, our hands are in pockets and we can see our breath in the cold air. We may crank up the central heating and hibernate under the duvet to keep the chills at bay, however there’s more you can do for your immune systems to ward off those coughs and sneezes that creep up on us at this time of year.
Keeping your mind and body in good spirits
Laughter is best medicine! Nourish your mental and physical well-being by sharing time with your friends, family and loved ones. Getting out together for a movie night, a relaxing spa day or staying in and cooking up a warming one-pot meal to engage conversation, smiles and laughter reduces your stress levels and can bring a glow from the inside-out. And there’s nothing quite like a meaningful hug for a lifting and instant pick-me-up.
A good sleep/wake routine is also essential to strengthening your immune system, ensuring your body gets the much needed rest to fight off potential infections. Try and stick to a regular bedtime, winding down beforehand, putting the TV and mobile to bed, too! It’s the perfect excuse to snuggle up with that good book you’ve been meaning to read.
Combating stress In the workplace
Sharing colds with colleagues is tricky to work around, so it’s vital to concentrate on feeding your immune system with the right diet as a defence barrier. Eating a proper breakfast enriches your body with a healthy start – porridge is not only comforting and warming, but contains starch, fibre and oats; a good source of vitamins and minerals. Top it with some yummy berries or banana and you’ve already earned one of your five-a-day!
Cutting back on the sugary snacks for elevenses and switching to a healthy alternative is good for your overall health and well-being. Try preparing a filling smoothie, or winter vegetable soup to take with you, or if you’re not that organised, simply grab some fresh fruit that’s easy to eat at your desk like the delicious baskets supplied by companies like Fruitful Office. Your 5-a-day can really keep you alert and functioning, rather than the quick-fix comfort food that results in a slump.
Try some new activities
Brrr, yes, it’s chilly out there, but getting outside for some fresh air on your skin in the cold season is still important. There’s no need to get changed into Lycra; perhaps a woodland walk, a scavenger hunt with the kids, or take the dog to the beach for a far-reaching ball game. There are often pop-up ice-skating rinks around during the winter months, too – perfect for a family outing. Regular exercise is important in controlling your weight and boosting your immune system.
Don’t forget to hydrate and sanitise
Keep up the fresh drinking water during the winter to keep skin glowing and your digestive system functioning well. If you’re not a massive fan of plain water, milk is a top alternative, providing protein, vitamins A and B12 and the all important calcium for strong bones. It goes without saying, that washing your hands is one of the biggest favours you can do yourself in the winter to minimise the transfer of viral infections. Keeping a sanitiser bottle on your desk at work is a handy quick-fix.