Winter colds are running rampant right now, and they seem to spread easier than usual. And while the holiday season has almost come to an end, it is likely that you have some residual stress built up on account of travel, overspending, and overeating. But instead of waiting for the New Year to start on health goals and lifestyle changes, check out the following tips to get healthier and happier today.
Plan Something Exciting
Many people experience the post-holiday blues, and even more people struggle with something called Seasonal Affective Disorder: a yearly depression caused by a variety of environmental factors and past experiences. And while you can’t change the weather or the fact that the holidays are over, you can be proactive and keep life interesting by planning fun stuff for the New Year. Make plans for a ski trip with your spouse, or buy tickets to a fun concert coming up in January. Having something like that to look forward to can impact your mood and happiness overall.
Get Your Vitamins
Make sure you stay up on your nutrition by eating a variety of whole fruits and vegetables. The greater the variety, the better your chances of getting the essentials through diet alone. In addition to bolstering your immune system and mood, vitamins contribute to healthy skin, brain function, metabolism, and energy. So focus on variety and color, and try new fruits and vegetable to keep things interesting!
Even though it is colder, you still need to make an effort to stay active. Exercise is absolutely critical to health and wellness. Regular exercise contributes to a healthy immune system so you can ward off that pesky cold. It also contributes to the release of feel-good hormones in the body, so your mood benefits significantly. Lastly, exercise might be the best medicine for stress and anxiety, as it reduces the effects of cortisol (the stress hormone) and provides an outlet by which you can release negative energy and foster positivity.
Focus on Relationships
Another great way to stay happy and healthy during winter is to focus on relationships – romantic ones, familial ones, professional ones, and friendly ones. Humans are designed to want community and interaction, so when you satisfy this innate longing, your physical and mental health benefit. Make goals to spend more time with people. Try to engage in an outing with your spouse at least once a week. Remember that it is the little things that count, and that social activity leads to satisfaction.
*Disclaimer: Always consult your physician or other health care professional before seeking treatment or taking related advice herein.*
Story Credit: How the Holidays Can Make You Sick by Rachael Schultz
Photo Credit: Used under Creative Commons Licensing
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