Between cold weather and seasonal depression, fall and winter can take a toll on our physical and mental health. But a few everyday actions can allow us to get through this without suffering too much. The best? They only take a few minutes during the day.
Does winter harm us? Yes, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the United States, which explains that during cold and flu season especially, the mortality rate increases by 8 to 12%. In Europe too, the cold and the surrounding viruses weaken us and act on our minds. Hence the need to keep good reflexes to stay healthy. What are they ? On Fox News, Jamie Winn, American doctor of pharmacy, suggests 10 habits to adopt every day to feel good in your body and in your mind.
Take vitamins and supplements
A lack of certain vitamins and minerals can lead to deficiencies that cause various health problems. Taking vitamins and supplements (recommended by your doctor or pharmacist) every day can fill nutritional gaps in your diet and ensure you get the recommended intake. Vitamin D supplements, for example, are useful when the sun is gone.
Stretching for just 10 minutes a day can improve flexibility and joint mobility. This would have the benefit of relieving muscle tension, helping prevent injuries and improving posture. “This can be particularly beneficial for people who work at a desk or find themselves slumped over a laptop while working from home” supports Jamie Winn
Dehydration can lead to fatigue, headaches and impaired cognitive function. Taking the time to sip water throughout the day in short intervals can help maintain adequate hydration levels. The benefits of staying hydrated include better digestion, improved circulation, and better temperature regulation. Not to mention less dry skin.
Meditate and breathe
Just ten minutes of mindfulness meditation or deep breathing exercises can significantly reduce stress levels. “Breathing exercises can also improve lung function, increase oxygenation and promote relaxation”and pursued Dr. Winn. “This is particularly beneficial for people with respiratory illnesses like asthma.”
A 10-minute walk or brisk workout can stimulate the release of endorphins, the body’s natural mood boosters. “Walking outside is an added benefit, as exposure to natural environments and sunlight has been shown to improve mood and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression” pursues Jamie Winn. Not to mention that regular physical activity helps reduce blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels.
Keep in touch
Socializing for a few minutes each day can improve mental health by reducing feelings of loneliness and providing emotional support, according to Jamie Winn. “Spending 10 minutes a day connecting with loved ones or friends, whether in person or virtually, helps build strong social support networks.” A contribution that becomes more and more important with age.
Eating your meal mindfully can lead to better digestion and weight management. “Mindful eating encourages paying attention to food choices, portion sizes, and the body’s hunger signals, thereby reducing overeating“, he noted. So taking a little extra time to chop vegetables and salad as part of your meals increases your intake of essential vitamins, minerals and fiber.
Keep a journal
When you wake up or go to bed, journaling or writing a list for 10 minutes can help you manage your emotions, reduce stress, and better understand your thoughts and feelings, according to Winn. “Writing down daily goals and tasks is something everyone can do to increase productivity and motivation.”
Take care of your mouth
Brushing your teeth daily can prevent dental problems, such as cavities and gum disease. But good oral hygiene is also linked to better overall health. So we don’t forget: at least twice for 3 minutes every day!
Go to bed earlier
Going to bed earlier allows for a more consistent sleep schedule, which can improve sleep quality and overall health. According to the expert, practicing relaxation techniques 10 minutes before bed, such as gentle stretching or meditation, can also help you fall asleep faster and enjoy more restful sleep. A useful rest for the new day ahead!