Winter is a time often that brings up a great deal of stress around the holidays as well as cold related illnesses, both of which have a tremendous effect on our energy and ultimately, the immune system. Here are a few Ayurvedic tips for supporting your health and well-being during this time of year when we tend to be more susceptible to colds, flus, illness and stress.
1. Stay warm! Wearing layers is a great way to ensure your body stays protected from the cold during the winter months. It is important to keep your neck and head warm so bring out your favorite beanies, hats and scarves that have been in the back of your closet since summer!
2. Stay hydrated! Make sure you are drinking plenty of water each day. Lukewarm or hot water throughout the day will not only feel nourishing against the cold but will require less work on your body’s part to process and therefore also benefit and support your digestion! You can also add in fresh ginger, which is a natural antiseptic and antimicrobial to ward off any germs or bugs commonly going around during winter. Avoid cold and/or iced drinks, which take longer and more energy for your body to process and assimilate.
3. In relation to this, fair on the side of warm, cooked meals over raw and cold prepared foods. Similar to our body’s functional capacity for processing cold vs. warm liquids, this applies as well to our diet and nutritional intake. Favoring soups, stews, warm stir fries and similar meal choices over foods such as salads and smoothies in winter time will greatly benefit your digestive capability as well as your immune system. The digestive system is strongest mid-day so continue to make lunch the largest meal of the day. If your body is having to work less to process foods easily digestible and warm, it has more energy to dedicate towards the healthy functioning and maintenance of your immune system. Stay mindful of your intake of dairy products, which can exacerbate any chest colds or congestion.
4. Fall in love with the rhythms of the natural world as much as you are able to. Winter time is a great time to fall back into rhythm with nature. The sun sets and rises earlier which allows us to more easily rise, eat dinner and fall asleep earlier than we may have been doing during the summer time. Proper amounts of sleep and rest are essential in supporting a healthy immune system and protecting yourself from winter time illnesses. What are some of your favorite winter time tips and remedies? Feel free to share in the comments section below a few of your best winter health habits!