Let’s Talk Winter Wellness!
Ok, so let’s be honest January is a rough month for a lot of people. Actually if you live in a colder northern climate like I do (hello Canadian prairies!), January through to April can be tough. Christmas is over and the deep cold of winter truly settles in. Skies can often be pretty gray and the weather can dip well below freezing! It’s often this time of year that many people end up with a cold, flu, or just the overall winter blahs (hence why I take an annual trip to Maui with my family… it’s literally for my health, ha!).
Whether you take a week or two vacation escape from the cold or have to hunker down and bear it the whole way through, it’s helpful to know how you can actually make the winter more enjoyable and also feel pretty darn good through the whole season. I’ve teamed up with Earthley Wellness to share my “Winter Wellness” tips with you to help you on three fronts: Immunity, Energy, and Mood!
For the past 10 years I’ve noticed a trend in myself. Winter arrives, I get one nasty flu and then I’m pretty good for the rest of the season. Well, that was until I had Hemsley. My now 20-month old daughter has definitely shaken up this trend as she’s constantly bringing home germs she’s picked up at daycare, the floor, the ground, countertops, you name it. I noticed that the propensity for all of us in our household to get sick has definitely increased so I’ve been on my A-game for keeping our immunity up. I can’t say I haven’t gotten sick at all, but with the tips below I have noticed that when I feel something “coming on” it seems to never really advance into a full-blown-laid-out-on-the-couch sickness and the severity is pretty low. Even for Hemsley it’s amazing how she’s able to bounce back within a day! Here’s what we’ve been doing to support our immunity:
1. Use Elderberry, Elderberry, Elderberry: I wouldn’t ever say anything is magic, but Elderberry comes pretty darn close. I’ve been using elderberry syrup and now Earthley’s Elderberry Elixir which contains elderberry and added immune-boosting ingredients like astragalus, clove, and ginger to support our immune systems and reduce the severity of cold and flu symptoms. Elderberry is a potent cold and flu fighter loaded with tons of antioxidants and has been used for centuries to battle nasty symptoms and boost immunity. Earthley also has a DIY Elderberry Syrup Kit so you can make your own elderberry syrup at home using just the kit, water, and honey. It’s also cost effective as pre-made bottled elderberry syrup can be relatively pricey.
2. Take Probiotics & Natural Antibiotics: Good health truly does start in the gut and so does immunity! When we have good balance and plenty of healthy gut bacteria it truly does impact our body’s ability to fight off colds and flus. I’ve been taking probiotics for years to help with my digestive health but I know that it also has an awesome impact on my immunity and I give probiotics to Hemsley as I want her to build a strong and healthy gut as well. I also keep Earthley’s Immune-Biotic in my cupboard as a back-up as it contains immune-boosting herbs and can be used off and on to jump-start the immune system if you feel you are run down or may be more susceptible to getting sick (high stress, lack of sleep, etc.). I love that many of Earthley’s products are also family friendly so everyone from age 1 to 100 can use them!
3. Drink Green Smoothies: This should come as no surprise if you follow me over on social media or have read my latest smoothie roundup post. I’m huge on green smoothies, it’s such a great way to get so many amazing nutrients and antioxidants all in one delicious, easy-to-make meal! We do green smoothies a ton in our home and load them with fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, lemon, and collagen peptides for energy, immune support and digestion! If you haven’t checked out my 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse launching tomorrow find out more about it here! PS. You can also add elderberry syrup to your green smoothies!
I’m sure if I did a poll there would be a resounding agreement to feeling the lull of low energy through the winter months. It’s challenging to feel energized when going outside is like entering an arctic tundra and when the daylight hours are very slim (the sun rises at 8:00am, and sets by 4:30pm in January here!). If you aren’t proactive you can definitely deal with low energy in the winter so here’s what I focus on to keep my energy levels up:
1. Prioritize Solid Sleep: Quality sleep not only boosts immunity but also energy levels (no kidding, hey?!) It’s so important to ensure you are getting around 7-9 hours of sleep each night during the winter months as that will lead to better energy in the daytime and overall winter wellness. Earthley has a lovely smelling Good Night Lotion that contains magnesium and lavender oil, both known to help boost sleep. Lavender helps with calming and promotes a more restful sleep and magnesium chloride helps balance sleep cycles and support a more solid sleep (less night-time wake ups!). The lotion can be used on infants, children, and adults. I love using this at night and do my best to get to bed at a decent hour or at least make sure I’m getting my 8 hours a night. Luckily Hemsley is also a champ sleeper but she really benefits from the lavender too!
2. Exercise: During the winter I barely ever skip a workout because I know that my mood and energy levels depend on it! It’s also nice to get out of the house and into an environment with other people taking care of their bodies. Whether you go to the gym, do a home workout, or get outside for a walk or run, exercising 4-6 times a week will definitely keep your energy levels up and endorphins too!
3. Eat Regularly & Stay Hydrated: Did you know that the number one cause of daytime fatigue is actually dehydration? It’s so important to stay hydrated to keep your energy levels high and combat the overall dryness of winter. I aim to drink 2-3 litres of water per day and find that when I forget or just don’t drink enough, I feel sluggish. It’s also important to eat regularly, every 3 hours or so, to keep up energy levels as your body needs fuel to keep going in the form of healthy, whole foods. Don’t skip breakfast my friends, it’s your fuel for the morning and so important for energetic days. If you need some breakfast inspiration check out my recipes list here for simple, quick, and tasty breakfasts.
Ok, so this is definitely not the first time I’ve addressed working on mood/happiness/optimism in the winter months. I have never been a huge fan of the season and really, I think I should have been born on the beach by the ocean, it’s where my heart feels happiest (with the ones I love of course!), but because I do live in a northern climate and don’t get to travel to Hawaii every month of the winter season (maybe someday!), I have to be intentional about keeping my mood and motivation up in the cold! Instead of list out all of my tips here (and there’s a lot of them), I wrote a whole separate post about how to make your home an oasis in the winter months along with my other top tips for keeping mood up and beating the winter blues. Click here to check it out!
Wherever you live winter might be a 7-month stretch like it is here, or a shorter few months, but either way it’s a season that can be more challenging for many people if you don’t live in a warm climate. Taking charge of your immunity, energy, and mood will definitely make a difference and help you experience the benefits and joy of true Winter Wellness!
If you want to learn more about the Earthley products I mentioned in this post and see all of the other amazing items they carry including those specifically for the family, him, her, kids, babies, and pregnancy, head to the Earthley website here! Winter can definitely be a harsher season but Earthley makes it a little more tolerable, that’s for sure! Be sure to use my coupon code “NITK10” to get 10% off your entire order when you purchase any Earthley products!
What things do you do to boost your immunity, energy, and mood in the winter months? I’d love to read about it in the comments section!
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Have a wonderful Sunday,
Christal // NITK