In the winter, staying healthy can feel a bit of an uphill battle – it’s cold, dark and rainy and everyone seems to have a cold to try and avoid catching.
But, there are ways to keep yourself feeling healthy and comfy even in the colder months. Not to reiterate the little things we’ve all been told roughly a million times growing up, but the simple things really do help; keeping yourself hydrated, sleeping and eating well all help defend against sickness when it seems to be everywhere. But, those aren’t the only things you can do to look after yourself.
When it’s cold and dark outside, everyone tends to curl up inside to escape it. This can leave you feeling down or trapped, but it doesn’t have to. Making use of the daylight or sun you do get as best you can helps stop these feelings creeping in, and there are ways to stop yourself hibernating. Lighting up your space, making sure you have free time to yourself in both the day time and in the evening, and keeping yourself moving can all help. Things like cooking, or finding something to do that makes you feel calm and happy that doesn’t leave you stuck behind your desk, keeps your brain moving and will also help managing stress or worries.
Feeling like you have too much on or worrying you won’t be able to deal with your workload can also affect your physical health. Spending a lot of your time dealing with anxiety can leave you physically drained and feeling less able to keep yourself going, which is an even bigger problem when there is so much more illness around. Identifying anything that is making you anxious, and trying to reduce it as best you can, will help both your mental and physical wellbeing. And if what you’re struggling with becomes too hard to deal with just with yourself or the support of friends, there are a range of resources open to you through the University. From Wellbeing and the on-campus doctors, to the student support office in Minerva. If you’re struggling and don’t know where to start, the uni’s Wellbeing centre has drop in session during the week, between 12 and 2pm as well as an evening drop in on Thursdays between 5 and 7pm. They can point you in the right direction.
Finally, and cosily, one of the easiest ways to keep yourself well in the colder months is to make time for a cup of tea. Warm drinks are great for clearing your throat and nose, and in particular, different herbal teas can help with different things, like chamomile to help with sleep and peppermint to help ease your stomach. All in all, embracing the winter months and knowing how to best help yourself through the parts of them that don’t always sit as well with you, can help keep you healthier and happier until the days get a little warmer.