Support yourself in Winter
How have you been supporting yourself throughout this Winter? Have you thought about how can you support yourself better during Winter months so you don’t get regular colds and flu?
Since Covid arrived in our lives ( it feels many years ago now.. ), number of vaccinations and booster have been performed, however, this Winter than even before, I am noticing more and more of repeating colds, repetitive coughs, chest infections circling around… A strong viruses that they seem to be lingering inside one’s body for longer than ever before.
So what we can do support our Immune system more naturally? A quite a lot actually. I would like to offer you some support what works for me and worked in the past few years ( during winter months ) and, how I learnt to listen my body more what it needs.
First of all, bringing an awareness to what your body needs during those winter months is a secret to your good health, your good immunity. Winter – cold weather sucks all our energy away, ( unless you play winter outdoor sports e.g. hockey ), our joints can be sensitive and stiff ( depends what stage of your life you are, older you are might get more fragile our joint scan get ), we have less vitamin D. because of less sun. The winter can have a big negative impact on our mood, energy level. And, if you are aware of all this; you can do something more’ about it.
Healthy, strong body can give you so much back! Just think of your body like your best friend. Despite how busy you might get with your work and family, take a time before sleep, to reflect (in your own space & time ) on your day and see how you can support yourself better the next day. Implement small changes, they can have a profound effect on your health and wellbeing.
Here are 5 ways to boost your Immunity during Winter months.
5 ways to boost your Immune system in Winter
Sunshine Vitamin – I try to take advantage of “sunshine vitamin” at every opportunity I can. ( see the featured image attached ). When I don’t teach, walk or cook yummy nutritional meals, I get out there – outside, in nature, to grab a natural sunshine vitamin directly from the sun. It is not the same as in Summer of course. Between October – March months, there is no sunlight of the wavelength for synthesis of vitamin D in the skin. However, every time you get out there – outside and, spend a few mindful minutes on the Sun, the whole body is like in ecstasy. The whole body feels alive, skin feels more plumped and some how we feel more relaxed. And, feel good-hormone’ is triggered. We find ourselves in better mood. Don’t forget to take an opportunity every time sun is out and, enjoy! On your own or, with a friend for a coffee or brunch at The Longholme cafe. Make sure you face the sun.
Winter Relaxing Home Baths – For Christmas, from one of my lovely student I received a gift from Neal’s Yard. I forgot about the bath oils until few weeks ago. Very seldom, I would have baths. ( few times per year ), I prefer showers and end with some cold water too. Last few weeks, we have had some cold weather, even below – 0 C temperature, which can be perfect for a hot bath so I decided to give it a go… Soaked myself for a while in those gorgeous Foaming baths oils from Neal’s yard. All of my tenses muscles relaxed, I relaxed completely and, let go of any tension. It was a bliss! ( just a suggestion; don’t take your phone in a bath only relaxing music and a candle – but not too scented. )
Restorative Yoga and Diaphragmatic Breathing – breathing exercises can make your lungs more efficient, makes your lungs and heart stronger. Increase on your lung capacity and help the lungs work more efficiently. Diaphragmatic breathing is a type of breathing that starts from the abdomen ( your belly ). You might also hear as a belly breathing or abdominal breathing. During the diaphragmatic breathing we strengthen the diaphragm which is important muscles that helps us to breathe, as it represents around 80% of breathing. So we really want to pay attention to this breathing and enjoy a time for your belly breathing practice. I know a life is busy and sometimes is hard to concentrate at home when everyone is at home and everyone wants your attention, so I invite you to come for one of my Restorative classes where you can unwind, regain the energy and practice a diaphragmatic breathing.
Winter makes us a bit more sluggish, with less energy and we tend to be drawn more towards some comfort. And, when it comes to yoga practice, we might like something slow paced, more relaxing and nurturing, hence I would recommend very slow paced Gentle yoga or even Restorative yoga where you focusing mainly on deep breathing and creating comfort in your body supporting by many cosy wonderful props e.g. blankets, cushions, bolsters, eye pillows… I offer Somatic Restorative Immersions on Friday evenings in-studio ( if you are Bedford local ) and, I also offer Restorative online session once a month – Sunday Special Restorative on Sunday evening. ( next online is 27th Feb at 18:00 ). Here is the link to see my classes and to book. Look for Friday evenings! Love you to join.
Nutritional Meals ( eat two meals per day and no snacking ) – There are many supported evidence that our body will work better and more efficiently with less food ( smaller portions ). At home, we have been doing Intermittent Fasting 16/8. ( more about this and benefits on next post. ) Less food, no snacking between, eating 2 or 3 times per day smaller portions with meals based on nutrition, protein, complex carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and you are on the right track. Check my last recipe – Winter Cauliflower curry recipe.
Turmeric hot drink – simple and powerful immune support. Turmeric has active compound called Curcumin which is anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-cancer and many other benefits. I would drink this home made drink more in winter but of course, you can anytime during a year. A kind of addicted to it. It’s like hot toddy but healthier ( without alcohol ). This is a simple to make and can adjust to your taste buds. What I would suggest; use freshly squeezed lemon rather than already bought. Pour hot water into your favorite mug. 1 spoon of organic honey, 1/2 fresh squeezed lemon juice, a thumb of small cubes of fresh ginger, 1 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder and, touch of ground black pepper to help with digestion. Stir and keep stirring as turmeric powder seems to move to the bottom of your mug. It’s a powerful drink! Check my healthy living instagram for more healthy additions.
Restful Sleep – Sleep Hygiene. How is your sleep hygiene? Sleep is so so important in winter and for your optimal health and wellbeing. You must have heard about it number of times. Its crucial that you have enough good sleep’ ( 7-9hours ) to function properly. To feel that your energy can sustain throughout the next day and have a sharper mind. Good sleep helps to focus clearly on tasks during your day. Can boost your short and long-term cognitive performance. Plus, can decrease on your pains in your body ( if suffer with any ) and decrease on inflammation. Your whole body regenerates. Now, if you however, don’t have a good sleep ( sleep is a passive ) then, I would definitely recommend Restorative Yoga as it is a conscious relaxation and you can re-gain all of your strength. A couple of suggestion before sleep.
- Rooibos tea works well for us. So soothing. We don’t drink alcohol in evenings. Or, lemon balm – very calming for nervous system.
- Open the window at least an hour before bed time to bring a fresh air in. You sleep better.
- Listen to calm music and, let i phone, i pad be in the other room, Give a rest at lest an hour before bed. Nothing will change in the morning, trust me. You might just have a fantastic sleep!
- I would not recommend coffee later afternoon, the coffee stays in our system for long time.
- Gentle breathing exercises even if it is just 10-15mins.
So here are these five and I hope it will help to boost your Immune system and yes don’t forget to top up with your vitamin D.K2 – your leafy greens, vitamin C. even Zinc – like pumpkin seeds, nuts, beans, whole grains.
See you in the next post. You can always suggest what you would like to read here.
With my love, support and good health,