Some thoughts on self-care for the winter season.
The body often needs time to come back into balance after the stress of the holidays from social pressures and expectations, not to mention less sleep and more treats than the body is used to. Refined sugars and flours take a toll on the body, and that combined with eating less of the healthy vegetables you usually consume can put a strain on the immune system. Sugar is also an immune suppressant, so when you’re eating more sugar, combined with more stress, less healthy veggies, and less sleep, it’s sort of the perfect storm for the body. It doesn’t mean the body can’t come gracefully back into balance, but it may need some extra special care to get there.
Now is a good time to get extra sleep, eat plenty of nourishing foods, such as fresh veggies and soups, broths, seafood, organ meats, cultured foods, and maybe take a few supplements to help you get back in balance. Also make sure to drink enough water, even if you aren’t noticing being as thirsty as in warm weather. I will sometimes fill a thermos with hot water in the morning and sip from it throughout the day.
I take vitamin C and D regularly in the winter, and will add zinc sometimes, and B6&12 (if I’m not eating much liver or nutritional yeast). Even though it is often the time when many folks start a new exercise regime, this is also a time when the body likes to rest and repair, using this season of long, cold nights to do some extra deep healing work. So it’s a good time to rest more than feels normal… and then I often don’t come down with a cold to make me slow down. I really like to check with my body about what it has the energy for, especially once the weather starts to get cold.
What would it be like to listen to the body’s desire to cuddle up by the fire with a good book, or snuggle in with a movie, or gather with loved ones for games and good cheer? Bundle up and get out in the sunshine (or wind and rain) and fresh air for a walk when you feel you have extra energy to burn.
One more simple thing is to sing yourself a little song: “every little cell in my body is happy, every little cell in my body is well”.