With December here, cold weather and shorter daylight hours can have negative effects on our bodies and make wellness difficult. In many parts of the country, the air becomes dry, making it hard to keep skin from cracking; our sinuses can become irritated and increase mucus production; and shorter daylight hours reduce vitamin D production, which can cause a lot of people to become more prone to feeling depressed because of the dreary weather. In the northeast, produce becomes limited; therefore, we may not eat as many fresh fruits and vegetables.
There are many things you can do to keep wellness at the forefront during this cold, dry, and dreary season, though! If you follow these tips, you’ll find yourself feeling better.
1. If fresh produce is harder to come by during this time of year for you, check with your doctor to see if supplements are right for you!
2. Keep your hands clean, use soap and water. Cool water can reduce drying and cracking of the hands compared to hot water, cool water is just as effective as using hot water to wash hands.
3. Use gentle lotions or oils to keep skin from drying and cracking. Dry and cracking skin exposes you to bacteria or viruses because of open entry through the skin.
4. Drink plenty of water. This keeps your skin healthy along with cellular health.
5. Try to keep sugary foods in check. Though it can be hard around holiday parties, too much sugar not only promotes risk for diabetes and weight gain, but also may throw your healthy gut bacteria out of balance. Your gut bacteria make up 80 percent of your immune system. If you cannot resist, try to eat a lesser portion of the sugary items.
6. Remember that being healthy is a journey. Along the way, we hit bumps in the road, we get sick, we fall off our diet or make poor choices. However, as we celebrate this holiday season because of the gift of love given to us, we should share that with others. Let’s encourage and support one another. We all come from different walks of life and we all can benefit from encouragement. We become better when we feel better about ourselves and helping those around us.
Wishing you all good health and a happy holiday season!
Kaleb Roudabush, Wellness Coordinator