Chances are you probably have a few go-to wellness rituals and tips that you rely on to help you feel your best — things you’ve discovered via friends, family, instructors, traditional wisdom, or your healthcare professionals. Maybe it’s a special tea you make when you’re beginning to feel sick, a stack of supplements you take each day, or a skin routine that helps you unwind in the evening.
No matter what your wellness hacks may be, you’re in good company. Nature’s Way® polled 2,000 Americans between September 7-9 to learn about their favorite ways to stay healthy year-round. The survey found that four out of five (82%) individuals maintain healthy habits and exercise regularly and a majority will use those habits to remain healthy in the winter months.
We gathered a few of these favorite winter wellness hacks that are actually worth doing. Some may already be part of your routine, while others may inspire you to make a change this season and beyond.
Drinking warm tea.
There’s nothing more comforting than a warm cup of tea. Tea has long been considered a popular remedy for everything from sleep to colds to general hydration, and studies have shown that regularly consuming tea may be associated with significant health benefits, such as reducing the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Browse your local supermarket or health food store and you’ll see nearly endless varieties to try, which is all part of the fun! When you’re feeling under the weather, start the kettle and sip on your favorite flavors for a cozy dose of self-care in a cup.
Prioritizing mental health.
When you’re stressed or overwhelmed, your immune system can’t work at its best. Over the past two years, we’ve really discovered how important it is to take a step back and prioritize our mental health. Mental wellness is different for everyone and can include anything from journaling to seeing a therapist to meditation. When you find a method that works for you, make it part of your weekly routine and continue to check in with yourself along the way.
There are plenty of wellness benefits to getting outside. Just like fresh air can revitalize your home, it can also invigorate your mind and spirit. The USDA Forest Service shares that heading outdoors and getting active can impact not just your physical health and wellness, but your mental health and that of your community. It’s also a simple way to ensure you’re getting the vitamin D you need; just a few minutes in the sun can make a big difference.
Participants in the survey shared that one of their favorite wellness rituals was jogging outside, but don’t worry if you’re not a runner. You can still reap the benefits of the outdoors by going for regular walks, cross-country skiing, or biking with your family. If it’s cold, bundle up and treat yourself to a hot drink when you’re done. The key to feeling great could be right in your backyard.
Setting the alarm for later.
Sleep is another major cornerstone of immune health and general wellness; when you’re not sleeping well on the regular, you may be more likely to catch a cold, feel run down and exhausted, or have trouble getting everything done. If you haven’t already implemented better sleep practices into your routine, it’s time to start.
Many people we polled said they enjoy sleeping in more during the winter; if you can swing it, set that alarm for later and enjoy a few extra minutes of ZZZs. If your schedule doesn’t allow for it, try going to bed just five minutes earlier each night or sneaking in a nap if necessary. Just like many animals hibernate for winter, you too should curl up and get the rest you need to make it through the winter.
Taking supplements and adjusting diet.
Many survey participants shared that they increase their intake of certain vitamins, like vitamin C and vitamin D, in the winter months while others rely on immune support favorites like zinc and elderberry.* It’s never a bad idea to add more leafy greens and colorful fruits and veggies to your diet, especially in the winter. Roast seasonal veggies with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper for a cozy winter grain bowl or make a big batch of soup packed with your favorite veggies and protein. There’s also always supplementation to help get your daily dose of immune-supporting ingredients.*
Other winter wellness hacks to try …
Already doing all of these in your daily life? Amazing! Here are a few more rituals and remedies to try.
- Calling up a friend or family member and chatting for ten minutes. Connecting with someone you love is an instant mood booster.
- Starting a workout or steps challenge with friends or coworkers. A little healthy competition can really motivate you to get moving.
- Add more flavors to your food. Shake up your spice drawer or cupboard and try incorporating difference spices and flavorings into your diet.
- Stretch it out. Take a break from your desk and cue up a 5- or 10-minute stretching video to get your blood flowing.