Historically winter was a time of death. The frail, weak and elderly often died during the winter. Infections were more common and could be deadly. Fresh food was not available. Ice and snow made travel and everyday chores treacherous.
In our modern day, winter is not associated with death any more than the other seasons. Staying healthy during the winter is easier, but still presents challenges. Flu, depression and injuries are common during the winter months. There are many simple ways to be prepared for the challenges of the winter season.
- Eat healthy- The body needs the right type of fuel for the challenge of winter. Eat foods that are traditional for the season like soups, root vegetables, squash and meats. Warm spices like ginger, cinnamon and cloves also help the body adapt to the cold.
- Keep the body moist- Winter brings dry air. Dry skin and dry lungs and sinuses means that the mucous and oils that protect our bodies are low. Adding more water and oils to the diet at this time of year can help.
- Be prepared for colds and flu- The quick use of herbal formulas or spicy soups at the very first sign of a cold can prevent the cold from progressing into a major illness.
- Wear a scarf- Protecting the neck from cold wind helps the body to relax and be better prepared for dealing with stress of all types.
- Turn on lights- Adding brighter lights to your house can help decrease the effect of the lack of sunlight on mood.
- Think when shoveling snow- use proper technique, good quality shovels and pace yourself. Over exertion, heavy snow, and unsure footing is a recipe for a serious back strain.If you already have a weak back wear ice cleats on your shoes- Simple traction devices are available for shoes and boots. These can provide a sure footing which decreases the strain on the back that comes from tensing while walking on uncertain surfaces.
Another way to help survive the winter better, is to have fun. Find a fun winter sport that gets you out into the sun and snow. Ice Skating, sledding, skiing, snow shoeing all can provide fresh air, and a positive attitude about the season. When snow and ice is seen as fun, the stress of the snow and ice will not seem quite as bad.