We are right in the middle of winter. The winter months come with a unique challenge for staying healthy, including the fact that the days are shorter and the weather cooler so outdoor activity is less likely. In addition, the odds of you catching a cold or something worse is also more likely.
Wintertime is also a stressful time of year, which can add to your health woes. Your pain management clinic in New Orleans suggests you need to reduce your winter stress by following these tips.
While you sleep, your body recovers from the day’s stresses, so it is important that you get a good night’s sleep. Research has shown that a lack of good sleep leads to imbalanced levels of cortisone as well as decreased immune function. Here are a few things you can do to ensure a better night’s sleep.
- Turn off the television or laptop an hour before you do to bed as they overstimulate your mind.
- Lower the lights as they stimulate hormones that keep you awake and alert.
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol and large amounts of food before you go to bed.
- Plan on sleeping at least 7.5 hours every night, minimum.
Fight the Cold
Research shows that when we get cold, we get irritated and stressed out. Take this into consideration when you dress yourself in the morning and wear layers, warm shoes and a hat. When you are at home in the evening, there is nothing wrong with burying yourself under a warm blanket on your comfortable couch sipping hot chocolate while watching a movie.
Get Some Sunshine
Being in the sunshine stimulates the release of hormones that relieve stress. Unfortunately, unnatural light cannot do this. So it is imperative that you do what you can to at least get outside and into the sun even if only for a few minutes a day.
If you can find an activity that gets your heart pumping and helps keep you fit, then do it. Even walking for 10 minutes a day is something that will help get you out of your winter funk. If exercise isn’t your thing, try yoga.
If you are feeling stress out, now might be a great time to schedule a massage. If you need something to take the edge off right away, a hot shower or bubble bath might be the answer. For some, a simple cup of hot tea reduces their stress while for others a cozy blanket and good book will do the trick. The important thing is to find something you enjoy that reduces your stress.
You will need some nutrient enhancement to help protect you from the stresses of the cold and decreased sunlight. Antioxidants are important as are vitamins A, E and C. You also want to make sure you get enough friendly fats and oils as they rebuild and protect your cells. They also ensure good brain function.
With these tips in place, you will be more resilient to stress.