By Jamie Lober
The holidays have the potential to be the most wonderful time of the year, though winter comes with its challenges. There are many things Fayette women can do to take charge of their health and safety in the cold months.
Naturally there may be more social events on your calendar at this time of year especially if you are expecting visitors from out of town.
“Often we have food that is the center of attention so I recommend moderation and portion control,” said Ida Smith, nurse practitioner at Fayette CARE Clinic. If you do not have a close-knit family or group of friends, you can still keep busy. “For those of us who have lost loved ones or for whatever reason you are isolated and are not in close contact with family or friends I recommend finding a social outlet doing something you enjoy whether it is church, community outreach or volunteering,” said Smith.
“You can do yoga, line dance, gymnastics, karate or take a stroll in the park,” said Anita Godbee, director at Fayette County Parks and Recreation. Whether you enjoy being part of a team or prefer doing something alone, and whether you like being indoors or outdoors, there is something you can do and maintain all year through.
“The benefit is that it will make you feel better now and will help your health down the road,” said Godbee.
Take Care of Your Body By Eating Well
Balance is the key.
“I intentionally eat foods that support the liver to function at optimal levels such as fresh and tasty dancing dandelion juice which you can make with 1 large bundle of dandelion, 1 inch of ginger root, 1 inch of turmeric, 1 whole lemon unpeeled, ½ of a large pineapple peeled and 1 to 2 granny smith or red delicious apples,” said Kelly Jorae Jefferson, natural health professional, colon hydrotherapist, holistic health educator and nutritionist with Sacred Waters Wellness Arts Studio.
Juicing Has Become Popular
“Additionally I regularly consume other liver-loving foods and herbs such as garlic, walnuts, milk thistle, avocados and a variety of green leafy vegetables,” said Jefferson.
“Since it is not as hot, people think they can back off of water but the importance is the same in the wintertime as the summertime,” said Godbee.
If you do not like plain water, you may want to add fresh fruit to add some flavor. You may also want to try warm water with lemon, ginger or honey.
“Tune in to the sounds around you, focus on your breath and allow your body to be in the moment,” said Maureen Dwyer of Inner Peace Studio. Whether you do yoga, meditate, pray or simply have an activity you enjoy doing on your own, take the time out to do it.
“A lot of people get depressed because of the lack of sun so I say to set up your own little sanctuary where you have a candle, journal and nice music to keep yourself balanced, stable and in a routine,” said Dwyer.
Check In With Your Doctor
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encouraged getting an annual physical, updating your personal and family health history, getting any necessary screenings and making sure you have your vaccines. Sometimes something as simple as washing your hands just may save you from catching the winter cold or flu.
Get Enough Sleep
The National Sleep Foundation suggested women maintain a cool bedroom environment; try a warm bath or shower before bed; avoid stimulating substances close to bedtime; limit noise in the bedroom; engage in relaxation or other coping exercises before bed; maintain consistent bedtime and wake times; and choose a comfortable sleeping position.
Find Ways to Manage Stress
The Office on Women’s Health found that women are more likely than men to experience symptoms of stress which in turn causes depression and anxiety. They suggest handling stress in positive ways like taking deep breaths; stretching; writing out your thoughts; taking time for yourself; meditating; getting enough sleep; eating right; getting moving; trying not to deal with stress in unhealthy ways; talking to friends or family members; getting help from a professional if needed; getting organized and helping others.
When you have a blueprint for health and safety success this winter it will be easier to stay with the spirit of the season.