Five Simple Ways to Relieve Winter Stress

Don’t let winter add unnecessary anxiety to your life. Find out some easy ways to relieve stress this season now.

December 16, 2016 | HF Healthy Living Team

The holidays, paired with the cold weather, can often lead to more stress-inducing situations than the warmer seasons. Check out some easy ways to keep sane and stress-free this winter.

Practice Mindfulness

Stress can be brought on easily during the holidays. Many push themselves to make the perfect meal, impress family members, buy expensive gifts, and more. You can manage your expectations by trying to plan ahead, sticking to a budget, and setting aside differences with family members. If difficult situations arise, don’t put extra pressure on yourself to achieve perfection. There are ways to manage stress.

Try practicing some deep breathing: take deep, long breaths in through your nose and let them out through your nose. Studies have shown that mindfulness (focused attention on your feelings) and deep breathing can reduce stress, but it takes practice. You can join a free yoga or meditation workshop near you or simply download a meditation app to begin.

Get the Right Nutrients for Your Body

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The cold weather can often lead to vitamin and nutrient deficiencies. For example, reduced exposure to the sun in winter causes a lack of vitamin D in many people. Vitamin D is essential for bone health and can even protect against cancer and Type 2 diabetes.

Don’t forget to also keep up your healthy eating habits by checking out NY Farmer’s Markets that run all year round. GrowNYC is available in all five boroughs in the winter as well. Be sure to continue to boost your immune system by adding in-season superfoods to your meals for a nutrient-rich, healthy diet too.

Keep Moving

There are plenty of exercises to do indoors and without equipment, like planks, dancing, lunges, moves for better balance, and more. Exercise releases endorphins, chemicals that are known to enhance your mood, so it’s essential to keep up your routine in the winter too. Working out in the cold can keep your mind sharp and help fight off Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which stress can trigger.

But it’s also important to get out of the house once in a while for your health. Check out some winter exercise tips to keep warm and stay safe this season.

Volunteer for Your Health

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Volunteering has a number of health benefits for you and people in need. It also helps to give your children a positive experience and the tools to give back more.

Many studies have shown that volunteering is beneficial for both your mind and body. Plus, many people find it very helpful to minimize stress in their lives. In one study, people who regularly volunteered also felt a positive change to their work/life balance.

Get the Right Amount of Rest

Sleep deprivation affects many people all year round, but it is especially common during the winter. In the winter, there is less natural light. When that happens, your body produces too much melatonin, a hormone that helps control your daily sleep cycle, which can make you more tired throughout the day.

Being cold can also affect your immune system, making you more prone to colds and the flu, so it’s important to get between seven and nine hours of sleep per night. One in three adults doesn’t get enough sleep in the U.S., so you aren’t alone. Check out some ways to get a good night’s rest if you’re having trouble falling asleep.

 

© 2016 HF Management Services, LLC.

Healthfirst is the brand name used for products and services provided by one or more of the Healthfirst group of affiliated companies.

This health information or program is for educational purposes only and not intended to treat, diagnose, or act as a substitute for medical advice from your provider. Consult your healthcare provider and always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions.

Sources
“Busy, Yet Socially Engaged,” NCBI. Accessed October 31, 2016.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25654517

“Volunteering May Be Good for Your Body and Mind,” Harvard.edu. Accessed October 31, 2016.
http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/volunteering-may-be-good-for-body-and-mind-201306266428

“Our Greenmarkets,” GrowNYC. Accessed November 1, 2016.
https://www.grownyc.org/greenmarket

“Winter Markets,” NY Farmer’s Market. Accessed November 1, 2016.
http://www.nyfarmersmarket.com/winter-markets/

“CDC’s Second Nutrition Report,” CDC. Accessed November 2, 2016.
https://www.cdc.gov/nutritionreport/pdf/4Page_%202nd%20Nutrition%20Report_508_032912.pdf

“Feeling Stressed?,” NIH.gov. Accessed November 2, 2016.
https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/issue/dec2014/feature1

“Enough Sleep,” CDC. Accessed November 3, 2016.
http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2016/p0215-enough-sleep.html

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