Fit for Winter Festivities
- for fewer daylight hours
- for freezing weather
- for festive celebration
Take a leaf out of the Scouts’ handbook and devise an easy-to-follow plan NOW to see you through to the dawning of a new year.
What are the potential pitfalls of winter?
Do you spend more and more hours slumped in front of the TV instead of keeping active outdoors?
Well, this is a great way of reducing your exposure to daylight and thus increasing your chance of suffering from winter depression. Get outdoors for 20 to 30 minutes a day, preferably during daylight hours.
Do you turn the heating up and up as the chill factor increases?
Here’s a thought - put on an extra jumper and skip around a bit more instead of sitting in a T-shirt with the fire on full blast. Suffocating heat not only puts your bills up but also makes it easier for germs to attack you as you move from the over-heated air indoors to the chilly air outdoors. Those with sensitive lungs will also find these contrasts maximise their likelihood of coughing and wheezing as the cold air hits their chest.
Wrap up warmly, especially around the head, throat and chest, but get out in the fresh air – brisk walking will make you feel great, and make it harder for bugs to take hold of you. By the way, the current trend for low-slung trousers and crop tops does your kidneys no favours in cold weather – they get cold! Cover them up in winter!!
Do you eat stodge for comfort and to warm you from the inside out?
This can be particularly destructive if combined with the ‘slumping in front of the TV’ factor! Keeping active, or even taking up an extra winter activity, will enable you to indulge in more stodge without becoming a podge..... but it is also possible to select warm, comforting foods that don’t consist entirely of fat and sugar.
Find recipes for healthy bean and vegetable soups and stews, rice dishes with nuts, warming vegetable bakes, and resist the urge to load them with cheese. Make cakes full of dried fruit, nuts and seeds, sweetened with fruit juice, to avoid masses of sugar.
Remedies for Resilience
You get stressed as the holidays draw closer?
- Take a Vitamin B Complex to help your body deal with physical and mental stress. (NB: B Complex often changes the colour of your urine – don’t panic.)
- Keep active. Indulge in winter activities like skating, curling or dancing. Check your local leisure centre for exciting classes to tempt you! Physical activity reduces tension and releases anger and frustration.
- Take an extract of Avena sativa throughout the winter to keep anxiety at bay. It’s gentle but can be taken long term and takes the edge off stressful situations.
- If things get a touch more fraught, consider adding Passiflora, which reduces muscle tension and aids peaceful sleep, calming highly strung nerves.
- Use a flower remedy such as Relaxation Essence to settle emotional upsets. Try it on frazzled teenagers or overwrought children to prevent them pushing up your stress levels!
You get sad as the nights draw in?
- Get outside. Remember how important daylight is for you in the darker months. Invest in a lightbox or a dawn-simulating alarm clock. (Visit www.outsidein.co.uk.)
- Take Hypericum tincture to keep your spirits uplifted during the winter. Start it in November and take it until you feel spring in the air. Remember that Hypericum can’t be taken with other medication, including hormonal contraceptives.
- Take the flower remedy Mood Essence to brighten your outlook. It has no contraindications and is safe for everyone.
You end the winter looking like a roly-poly snowman, with layers of extra padding built in?
- Keep your fruit and vegetable intake high. Stew and bake fruit so that it’s warm and comforting but still gives you fibre and low fat nutrients.
- Take Helix Slix (Jerusalem Artichoke) as part of a calorie controlled diet.
- Use Kelp to boost your metabolism.
- Try Craving Essence to curb outrageous desires for cakes, biscuits and chocolate.
You fall prey to ever-increasing amounts of liquor as the festive season draws closer?
- Investigate the huge range of designer fruit smoothies and sparkling soft drinks like Arie or Aqua Libra which can be exciting alternatives to getting sodden with alcohol.
- Take a complex containing Milk Thistle to assist your liver in processing alcohol. It has the additional benefit of increasing fat metabolism, so may actually help you shift a few of the alcohol-induced pounds!
Plan ahead and enjoy this winter to the full!