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Style Magazine

Under the Weather: 7 Winter Wellness Tips

Winter has come and with it, gray skies and days shrouded in gloom. We asked local experts for advice on how to get through the season with our mental and physical health intact. Here’s what they said.

1) Remember the trifecta.
Exercise. Any form of physical activity during winter helps reduce stress and anxiety, enhances mood, and boosts your immune system. It also releases happiness hormones and will lift your spirits and energy levels like nothing else. So, don’t talk yourself out of it: Schedule a workout and get it done!  

Hydration. One of the best things you can do for your health is to drink optimal amounts of water every day. Water plays a big role in your health, including increased metabolism, skin hydration, and immune health. Your body is mostly made of water, so making sure you stay hydrated will help keep you healthy.

Diet. Allowing yourself sweet treats, in moderation, can keep you from feeling deprived. Finding a healthy balance is key, however, as poor nutrition can harm your immune system, contribute to lower energy levels, and increase your vulnerability to infections. Balance the indulgences with a healthy, seasonal diet, and eat foods high in vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids to give your body the essentials it needs to function.

—Lisa Robinson, General Manager; Mark Cavallaro, Head Personal Trainer; and Heather Crivellone, Nutritionist & Personal Trainer, Roseville Health & Wellness Center,

2) Stock up on essentials.
Get a combination of solutions at your local pharmacy. Begin with doTerra essential oils by mixing, matching, and diffusing at home or in your office; or pick up Ortho Molecular Products— pharmaceutical-grade supplements made with the highest quality ingredients, including all the necessities to keep you healthy this season. Check out their Viracid, WholeMune, and Buffered C Capsules.

—Puja Khana, Pharmacist & Owner of Remedy Rx Pharmacy, Roseville,

3) Simplify this season.
The holiday season creates a shift in routines and can bring on stress and the feeling of busyness, but there are ways to keep your mental and emotional health on track. Simplicity and maintaining healthy boundaries by not overcommitting yourself can improve your outlook. By taking charge of your schedule, you have more time to pause and stay present. If you find that this time of year is more challenging, consider seeking support from emotionally safe individuals in your life or professional support from a counselor or therapist.

—Ashlee Janzen, MS, LMFT,

4) Laugh about it.
Is humor a healthy habit? Absolutely! A silly, sunny attitude will shift any situation. Using humor in your self-talk is a big boost to positive energy. Just keep it simple. If you’re stuck or stressed, ask yourself, “If this was a comical scenario, what could I laugh about?” Welcome the levity and be willing to giggle at yourself. Another way to boost your mood is to activate your creativity, whether it’s through conversations, eating and cooking, making something, or problem-solving. Imagine you’re driving through winter with a perpetually full tank, and all you must do is not take yourself so seriously (humor) and honor yourself with what matters most (creativity).

—Jenifer Novak Landers Life Coach Coaching, Creativity, Children’s Books,

5) Maintain your mental health.
Here are some healthy practices you can utilize when seasonal affective disorder, compassion fatigue, or just plain burnout is causing you to feel down.

•    Take a mental health day. If you’re experiencing changes in sleep patterns, eating patterns, difficulties completing small tasks, feeling stressed and fatigued, becoming more disorganized and apathetic about things that once brought you joy—you need a mental health day. Many people feel guilty about taking one, but give yourself permission anyway—that is the antidote. It may look like a relaxing day in bed with a book or lunch with a dear friend; if it’s soothing to your soul and relaxing to your mind, consider it a success!

•    Every morning—before your feet hit the floor, you reach for any electronics, or you cater to the needs of anyone else—start your day with intention by doing the following:

1.    Ask yourself what you want to achieve, how you want to achieve it, and with what attitude.

2.    Choose how you want to feel and experience situations throughout the day and how you want want to respond versus react.

By setting these intentions, you’re more likely to create your circumstances rather than react to them, and ultimately feel more centered and grounded.

—Kelly Bazzani, My Resilience Coach,

Eating colored foods will provide you the phytonutrients needed to keep your cardiovascular system and blood sugar stable.


6) Experiment with elixirs.
This Fire Cider recipe, courtesy of herbalist Rosemary Gladstar, is amazing for preventing (or combating) colds and the flu. The catch is it takes four weeks to make, so get brewing!

In a quart jar labeled with the date, add:
•    ¼ cup sliced horseradish (a top herb for combating sinus congestion and headaches)
•    ¼ cup sliced ginger root (a warming circulatory herb that helps fight infection)
•    1 head garlic cloves, peeled and chopped (poor man's penicillin)
•    1 small onion, chopped (good for colds and the flu)
•    1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper (great cardiovascular herb)
•    Apple cider vinegar, enough to cover all ingredients (great digestive aid)
•    ¼ cup honey (soothing for inflamed tissues and organs)

Mix ingredients, except honey, and let sit out for four weeks before straining. Add honey and stir. Stored in the refrigerator, it should last about three months.
Use 1 teaspoon four times a day if you’re sick and 1 teaspoon daily for prevention. You can also add some olive oil to it and drizzle on top of salad.

—Deborahe Prock, Naturopathic Practitioner, Dr. Deb’s Herbals,

7) Create a well-oiled machine.
The key to optimal health is balance between your adrenals, thyroid, sex hormones, GI system, cardiovascular system, blood sugar, and lifestyle. Healthy adrenals maintain a strong immune system, and B vitamins help stabilize them. Adrenals and thyroid compensate for each other, while your sex hormones play a vital role in assisting your immune system. You have sex hormone receptors in your GI tract, and a healthy GI system is vital in keeping your immune system intact. Eating colored foods will provide you the phytonutrients needed to keep your cardiovascular system and blood sugar stable.

—Denise R. Bogard, MD, FAARFM, ABAARM, Well Aging Med, 

by Tara Mendanha